Vernon RCMP call in Search and Rescue four times since 2021 started | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon RCMP call in Search and Rescue four times since 2021 started

FILE. Search and Rescue crews.
January 09, 2021 - 3:35 PM

Venturing out into the wilderness isn't something to be done without some planning — a fact a growing number of North Okanagan residents can attest to.

As of Jan. 8, RCMP has called on local search and rescue organizations to find lost or stranded people on four occasions.

On both Jan. 2 and Jan. 3, Vernon Search and Rescue was mobilized to assist stranded snowmobilers in Hunter’s Range east of Enderby.

Again, on Jan. 5, they were called out when Central Okanagan Search and Rescue assisted police in locating a person in medical distress in the Fintry area of Westside Road.

At the same time, Vernon Search and Rescue, who normally would respond to the Fintry area, was engaged in a search for a snowmobiler who had become stranded in the Lumby area.

"We are incredibly fortunate to have these professional, dedicated, highly skilled volunteers with the training and capabilities they do, in our communities," Const. Chris Terleski, media relations officer for the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP, said in a press release.

"If you need them, they will come, but those venturing into the backcountry are ultimately responsible for their own safety and by not taking any undue risks, and by being properly prepared, they can reduce the incidents of needing SAR."

Being properly prepared allows you to manage and reduce the risks of backcountry travel, and that means planning for what may happen, not simply what you think may happen. A sudden change in weather conditions or an unexpected event could turn a simple hike into a crisis, or cause you to become lost or injured and in need of rescue.

"When you realize you are lost or in trouble, it is best to stay in place. We teach the children to Hug A Tree. The same goes for adults. It keeps everyone safe and reduces the search area,: Coralie Nairn, the spokesperson for Vernon Search and Rescue, said in the release.  "A great free resource is the, they have a free Trip Plan App that aids policing and SAR units."

VSAR provides these essential, life-saving services free of charge and should you become lost or in need of assistance, do not be afraid to call for help, and call early. The faster help can mobilize, the less time you are exposed to the elements.

Here are some steps to take to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trip into the wilderness.

Leave a plan with a family member or friend; even if you are going for a short time. This person can give accurate details to police if you do not return as planned.

Plan activities that are within your skills and abilities.  Seek education and training opportunities before you go.

Be well informed about the terrain when embarking on a backcountry trip.

Never go alone, stick together, and remember, those who go ahead or fall behind are more likely to get lost.

Take the essentials:
• Light
• Signalling device: whistle, flare, mirror
• Fire starter
• Warm clothes
• Pocket knife
• Shelter/emergency blanket
• Water and food
• First aid kit appropriate for the activity
• Compass/GPS for navigation
• Communications – Do not rely entirely on your cellphone, consider having a Garmin inReach, SPOT, or other satellite communication device
• If you are heading into avalanche terrain, plan ahead and check for current snow conditions.  Taking an avalanche awareness course or Avalanche Level 1 course is strongly recommended.
• Each member in a group should have a probe, shovel, and transceiver/beacon. Be proficient in their use prior to going out; a stressful or life threatening situation is not the time to figure it out.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2021

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