Ten days into 2021 and it’s already been a busy year for Vernon Search and Rescue.
The trend follows one of its busiest years in 2020 as COVID-19 restrictions prompted more people to get outside and explore their own backyards.
“2020 was a busy year, not our record year but we had 58 calls,” said Trevor Honigman, Vernon Search and Rescue search manager.
As of Jan. 8, Vernon Search and Rescue had helped RCMP search for lost or stranded people four times.
A press release from Vernon RCMP states that on Jan. 2 and 3, Vernon Search and Rescue was deployed to help stranded snowmobilers in Hunter’s Range east of Enderby.
On Jan. 5 Central Okanagan Search and Rescue helped RCMP in locating a person in medical distress in the Fintry area of Westside Road. While Vernon Search and Rescue helped search for a snowmobiler who was stranded in the Lumby area.
Honigman hopes this year they won’t see a similar trend, however, if they do he says they are ready.
“The service that we give is free,” said Honigman. “It doesn’t matter if they run out of gas or have an injury. We are going to be on the way and have the assets there and trained people there to help them get back.”
Vernon RCMP and Vernon Search and Rescue recommend being prepared for anything that could happen before leaving for an adventure.
- 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:
• 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
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