A day of hiking quickly turned into a life-or-death ordeal for two British Columbia men when they lost their footing on the steep, rocky terrain. Fortunately, a ledge stopped the men from plummeting into the rough waters below. Upon looking around, however, the hikers realized they were trapped. They had no way to climb back up the nearly-vertical rock, and as the treacherous waters raged below, the reality of their situation began to set in.
Nearby, a group of five men was unknowingly about to prove that being in the right place at the right time can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. Kuljinder Kinda and four of his friends were hiking in Golden Ears Provincial Park when they encountered a frantic group of hikers.
The other hikers told Kinda about the stranded men and asked him to call for help. Unfortunately, Kinda didn’t have cell service. Rather than leaving to seek help, the five friends hatched a plan to save the two men themselves.
“We were trying to think how we could get them out, but we didn’t know how to,” Kinda told NBC News. “So we walked for about 10 minutes to find help and then came up with the idea to tie our turbans together.”
The friends, who are all Sikhs, wear turbans as part of their traditional style of dress. On an average day, their turbans cover and protect the men’s long hair. But on October 11, the unrolled turbans served a life-saving purpose. In the middle of the rocky trail, the five friends carefully tied their turbans together, forming a roughly 30-foot-long rope. Once the rope was secure, the friends tossed the other end to the two men. The harrowing video quickly went viral, and the world celebrated as the hikers were pulled to safety.
“In Sikhi, we are taught to help someone in any way we can with anything we have, even our turban,” Kinda said. “We just really cared about the safety of the men.”