NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Now that you and the family have more time on your hands, given the holidays, North Shore Rescue is issuing a warning about hitting the local trails.
Team Leader Mike Danks says they’re expecting to see a spike in calls as people head out unprepared, including for things like going up the mountain to watch the sunset without a flashlight to come down. “This happens every year, people misjudge their time and before you know it the sun has gone down and they’re very cold and hypothermic.”
He admits it’s frustrating for members who risk their own lives to, in some cases, handle preventable calls.
“It’s definitely a concern, but for us, we really encourage people to get out and enjoy the backcountry. But again, we just keep stressing to everyone do your research on the hike you’re going to do, let somebody know where you’re going, what time you’re expected back, when they can call for help and don’t be a statistic. Anything you can do on the front-end is going to drastically improve your odds of not needing search and rescue.”
.@NSRescue expects a spike in calls over the holidays. As of now, the team has responded to 124 calls. Three years ago they were handling, on avg., about 90 to 100 calls — adding not everyone is using common sense.
— Sonia Aslam (@SoniaSAslam) December 22, 2017
Danks says being called out for those preventable cases is not only time consuming but it strains resources.
“People need to do smaller hikes to start off with and just check that their fitness level is good. And why not just try and stay put for 30 minutes and see if you can keep yourself warm with the clothing you have and that’s a pretty good gauge of if you’re really prepared or not.”
As of right now, NSR has responded to 124 rescue calls involving more than 180 subjects which is just shy of last year’s record of about 130, however, there’s still a week left in the year.