First responders were called out to rescue a woman who sustained a leg injury when she slipped on ice and fell while walking the shoreline in Maders Cove.
The woman, believed to be in her 50s, may have also cut her leg in the March 4 fall near Westhaver Beach, off the Maders Cove Road.
Initially, emergency crews were told the woman fell down an embankment. The fire chief of Mahone Bay volunteer fire department said she was down a six-metre hill but it wasn't due to a fall from that distance. Either way, her mobility was impacted.
The woman, who was out for a walk by herself, called a friend before first responders were notified, Connor Veinot told LighthouseNOW in a phone call.
"Her friend brought her a fold-up chair, first aid kit, and crutches," Veinot said. "She had all intentions to rescue her herself." She managed to get to the shoreline but realized more assistance was needed to get help for her injured friend.
Emergency crews were sent to the scene around 11 a.m., including paramedics, RCMP and firefighters.
Firefighters secured rope to a guardrail to ease the transfer of responders and equipment down the hill, although paramedics had already made it down the embankment to the patient.
The incline was too steep to get the woman to the road safely, however, so Mahone Bay summoned its own watercraft, and, just in case, the high-angle rescue expertise from another volunteer fire department. Lunenburg was summoned first but Bridgewater had the preferred capacity and went to the scene but weren't required.
Mahone Bay's rescue boat came through, however, navigating to the shoreline where the patient, her friend, and other responders were picked up and transferred two minutes away to a nearby dock.
"The wind wasn't too bad; there wasn't ice in that cove area, and we were able to launch our rescue boat," Veinot said.
The injured woman was helped to the boat. "She really couldn't put the weight on the one leg," Veinot added.
She was taken to hospital by ambulance for further examination. Health privacy rules prevent the ability to secure updates on her condition, although Veinot believed the injuries were non-life threatening in nature.
"It was definitely a different call, I'll put it that way," Veinot added, reflecting on the alarm. "I'm glad everyone's safe, and no one got seriously hurt."
He advised anyone going on a walk alone to either carry a charged, operational cell phone with them in case of emergency, or, if no cell phone's available, to let family or friends know the destination and return time.
"It could have been a very different outcome if she didn't have a cell phone," the fire chief said.