As temperatures climbed, Sunshine Coast Search and Rescue was called out twice last week to assist injured mountain bikers on Sidewinder Trail in the Elphinstone/Sprockids area.
On Wednesday evening, June 23, Sunshine Coast SAR was called by ambulance to help get an injured biker off the trail, after he did not land right from a feature’s drop, search manager Alec Tebbutt told Coast Reporter.
The volunteers went up the Cablevision Trail, also known as Yellow Trail, but determined it was too steep to bring the subject down the same way. The team was concerned about a possible spinal injury and used a stretcher with a wheel to bring the biker out to the ambulance. He turned out to have a dislocated shoulder, and no spinal injury, Tebbutt said.
On Saturday afternoon, June 26, SAR volunteers returned to the same area to help a biker with a dislocated knee.
“When he was falling, the foot went one way and the rest the leg went the other way. So, he dislocated his knee,” Tebbutt said.
Both bikers were taken to the hospital by ambulance, and are expected to make a full recovery. Tebbutt said the team coordinated well with the other emergency services, especially on Saturday when the Gibsons & District Volunteer Fire Department attended as well.
The hot weather was a challenge for the first responders, especially on Saturday, Tebbutt said. With 17 SAR volunteers at the scene, they were able to switch out the stretcher teams to make sure no one became dehydrated or overworked.
While the incidents were a few hundred metres and days apart, Tebbutt said it was likely a fluke that the two incidents happened in the same area.
“There are a huge number of trails there,” he said. “We certainly are getting a vastly increased number of mountain bikers coming up on our trails right now… We have become a real destination for mountain bikers.”
In 2020, Sunshine Coast SAR responded to a record high of 34 incidents. Five of those incidents were assisting other SAR groups, and the rest were spread across the Coast, Tebbutt said. Only two incidents happened in the same location in 2020.
As of June 28, Sunshine Coast SAR has responded to 21 incidents this year. Tebbutt said it’s a much busier year. A normal, pre-pandemic year for the volunteer group sees incidents in the high-20 range for the whole year. Tebbutt said there is no typical season for local incidents, and they respond to a wide variety of calls.