A motorcyclist is lucky to be alive today after hitting a moose on Hwy 3 just east of Castlegar, according to Ootischenia Deputy Fire chief Len Coates.
Coates said the call came in at 12:29 p.m., and crews arrived on scene to find BCAS and RCMP already at work.
“The motorcyclist hit a moose and went over a 60-foot embankment on his motorcycle,” Coates said. “The other motorcyclist (the brother of the first) swerved and dumped his bike, then walked down the bank to help his brother.
“We took over the scene and called the Castlegar Fire Department to provide over-the-bank rope rescue,” Coates said, adding a Conservation Officer was also on hand to look for the moose, and potentially protect first responders, should there be an injured and angry animal nearby.
No one saw the moose, despite efforts to locate it.
The motorcyclist was taken up the bank via rope rescue – which requires very specialized training and equipment. He was then transported to Castlegar hospital, conscious, but with potentially serious injuries. His brother, the second motorcyclist, was also transported to hospital as a cautionary measure, but appeared relatively unharmed.
Coates made a point of noting the various agencies involved – OFD, CFD, BCAS, RCMP, Conservation – and how well the all work together in these sorts of crises.
“It was a very effective collaboration,” he said.
There’s no word yet on where the two men are from.