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Kootenay Boundary emergency personnel rescue stranded climber

Grand Forks RCMP, Trail Fire Rescue and multiple search and rescue teams helped rescue a climber stranded under the Paulson Bridge.

Kootenay Boundary emergency services personnel responded to a climber stranded under the Paulson Bridge on Monday night.

The Grand Forks RCMP detachment received a call at 8:40 p.m. and responded to a 50-year-old man stranded on a rock face underneath the Paulson Bridge on Highway 3.

“Search and Rescue were activated from both Castlegar and Grand Forks. Search and Rescue teams, along with Trail Fire Rescue did a high angle rope rescue,” said Sgt. Fenske, detachment commander for Grand Forks RCMP.

Castlegar Search and Rescue (CSAR) received the call at 9:15 p.m. and was the first SAR team to arrive, with the RCMP already on the scene.

“We rolled out, got on scene, established contact with the subject verbally, and he seemed to be ok,” explained Gord Ihlen, incident commander for CSAR. “He was just stranded, scared and probably a little exhausted.”

CSAR was joined by SAR teams from Grand Forks, Rossland and South Columbia, and then executed their rope rescue.

“We sent a rescue team down to him. They hooked into the subject and then he was lowered all the way down to the Rail Trail at the bottom,” said Ihlen.

The climber was checked out by SAR medics who determined that he was ok, if a little dehydrated. CSAR released him to the RCMP and he was then taken home by a friend.

The Paulson Bridge was closed for two hours while teams executed the rescue.