Five hikers from British Columbia used their turbans to rescue two men on their trail when the couple unexpectedly fell into a pool under a waterfall.
Kuljinder Kinda and four friends were hiking in Golden Ears Provincial Park on October 11 when a group nearby told them that two men had slipped on a slippery rock and fell into a pool above the lower falls and could not not get back to safety.
Video of the incident is widely shared after Kinda posted his recording on WhatsApp and made his way to hiking channels.
Kinda said people who stopped to help asked them to call emergency services, but they did not have cell phone service. It was then that they came up with the idea of creating a rope from their turbans, one of the five items worn by Sikhs as headdresses usually made of cotton that protects their uncut hair.
“We were trying to think about how to get them out, but we didn’t know how to do it,” said Kinda, an electrician from Punjab, India, who is Sikh. “So we walked for about 10 minutes to get help, and then we got the idea to tie our turbans together. “
Kinda and her friends removed their turbans and other clothing to securely tie the fabric together and create a makeshift rope 10 meters (about 33 feet) to pull the two men safely onto the trail. They threw the rope at the men and asked them to tighten it before getting up.
“In Sikhi, we are taught to help someone in any way we can with everything we have, even our turban,” Kinda said.
Kinda said he and his friends were not afraid for their safety.
“We really care about the safety of men,” he said.
The two men thanked Kinda and her friends before leaving. Their identities are unknown.
The BC Ministry of Environment said there were warnings along the trails. “Signs on access trails warn hikers of the dangers of trails and waterfalls and not to exceed the end of established trails,” a spokesperson said.
Robert Laing, the search and rescue manager at Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue, was on duty when the incident occurred and was called to the scene, but the hikers had already been rescued. “We spoke with them briefly, but only to make sure they were okay and did not need medical attention,” he said. “They said they hadn’t seen the warning signs regarding the dangers of approaching the falls. “
The waterfalls are behind a fenced area, he said.
Laing cautions hikers to be careful around streams and rivers in the park. “Several people are injured each year as a result of slips or falls,” he said. “It seems like once every one or two years or so someone will be swept away by falls and die from their injuries. “
The hikers were praised for their heroism and responsiveness. The Sikh community in British Columbia shared the video on Twitter and said, “Congratulations to these young men for their quick wit and selflessness. “