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Hikers help free man trapped in waist-deep mud on popular B.C. trail

A hiker’s ordeal on the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail ends with help from strangers
The Juan de Fuca Trail is on the west side of Vancouver Island. B.C. Parks says hikers should be prepared for uneven ground and slippery conditions. (Landon Copplestone/Contributed)

It was a sticky situation, to say the least.

A hiker on the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail became stuck in mud up to his hips recently and couldn’t get out for a couple of hours.

Although Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue were in the process of preparing to respond to the incident on March 29, the male hiker was pulled out of the mud by other hikers passing by on the trail, said Victoria Clarke, team manager and co-ordinator for JDF Search and Rescue.

“It was really fortunate for him that the other hikers came along,” Clarke said. “He’d been in there quite a while, and was getting cold, tired and nervous.”

Clarke said conditions on parts of the trail can be “very, very” muddy at times and it’s not unusual for people to sink up to their knees, but this was the first time she’s heard of someone sinking up to their waist.

Search and rescue team members have sunk up to their thighs on occasion while carrying injured people out on stretchers, but always manage to get out quickly, she noted.

Because of the JDF Marine Trail’s popularity and close proximity to Victoria, many people don’t understand the challenges the terrain and ever-changing conditions can present, Clarke said.

She advises anyone who’s considering a hike on the trail to visit and follow the links to trail specific safety videos.

ALSO READ: Juan de Fuca Search and Rescue puts training to the test

About the Author: Rick Stiebel

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