Family rescued from cliff

A mother and her two children had to be rescued by Port Alberni fire crews after falling off an embankment behind the Fall Fair grounds.

A mother and her two children had to be rescued by Port Alberni fire crews after falling off an embankment behind the Fall Fair grounds.

“At 11 p.m. on Saturday night we were called for assistance for our rope team,” said Port Alberni Fire Department Deputy Chief Wes Patterson.

“There was a younger fellow that had gone into the bush behind the fair grounds and had fallen over the bank,” Patterson said.

The incident happened to the right of a small fenced area behind the midway.

“I don’t believe alcohol was involved.”

Before crews got on scene, the youth’s mother had attempted a rescue but ended up over the bank as well.

“When I arrived on scene the mother was still down [the bank] between where the trail meets the bank,” said Patterson.

“We ended up lowering her down and then bringing her up the trail.”

A young child also related to the woman had to be rescued as well.

“She was brought down in a stretcher with undetermined injuries and the brought up through the trail system,” said Patterson.

It’s safer to lower stranded individuals down the bank and use the trail system to get them back up than to rope rescue them up the bank, he added.

The rescue took a couple of hours to complete, Patterson said.

The mother was taken to West Coast General Hospital by ambulance. Her condition is unknown.

It’s not the first time Patterson has seen people fall off the bank during the fall fair.

“Last year we had one during the daytime where a young person had slipped over the bank and had to be rescued in a similar matter,” said Patterson.

According to former Port Alberni Fire Dept. Chief Tim Pley, other falls over the bank have not been fair-related.

“We have had more recent over-the-bank situations that are not fair-related,” Pley said, adding that the city has posted signage near the ravine by North Island College.

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