Campbell River Search and Rescue received 64 calls for service this year, up from 54 in 2018. Campbell River Search and Rescue photo

CRSAR call volume reaches seven-year high

Volunteer search and rescue group received 64 calls for service in 2019

Campbell River Search and Rescue (CRSAR) has responded to more than 60 calls this year, marking a seven-year high for the volunteer group. CRSAR responded to 64 calls for service this year, up from 54 calls in 2018. The calls included tasks for missing persons, medical rescues, water rescues, mountain rescues and SPOT beacon calls.

Many of CRSAR’s calls this year were for mutual aid, according to a news release the group published on its website.

“We often send resources to assist other teams on SAR calls, which can be anywhere in B.C.,” the release said. “Usually ground search and rescue (GRSAR) members are sent to mutual aid calls, however our specialty rescue teams, such as swiftwater or ropes are requested as well.”

Earlier in the year, one of CRSAR’s members was part of a command team during a call in Merritt.

In between calls for service, CRSAR members kept busy with training to keep their skills sharp.

“The training and skill level required to perform our operations is extremely high,” the release said. “Our teams are stacked with incredibly dedicated and knowledgeable folks who put in a lot of time and training to perform necessary skills when on task.”

CRSAR trains in a variety of disciplines, including rope rescue, swiftwater rescue, medical rescue, mountain rescue, tracking and K9 teams.

The group also had members trained in hoist rescue, where the helicopter team is “inserted into inaccessible terrain to rescue subjects trapped or injured and how require evacuation by air.”

This year, CRSAR performed five hoist rescues, including the rescue of a trio of stranded hikers on Mt. Schoen in August.

RELATED: Injured hiker rescued near Golden Hinde in Strathcona Provincial Park

CRSAR also took part in numerous public relations events for community education and fundraising opportunities.

RELATED: SRD, SAR impressed with Campbell River residents’ emergency preparedness

“Our AdventureSmart team provided backcountry education and safety messaging for children in classrooms, visitors to Elk Falls and many others,” the release said. “Prevention is an integral part of what we do, we try to educate members of the public and provide the knowledge to make safe informed decisions when recreating in the backcountry.”

In March, the B.C. government announced a new round of funding for SAR groups across the province. It dedicated $18.6 million over three years to support SAR operations.

RELATED: Campbell River Search and Rescue happy to see new provincial funding

CRSAR said the funding will help with day-to-day operation costs like rent, utilities, training and equipment purchases.

“Without this funding, CRSAR would be a lot more reliant on donations and gaming applications,” the release said. “Although it’s not the model we were seeking, it’s a great start and commits the province to providing us with long-term, sustainable funding.”

CRSAR continues to encourage backcountry users to be prepared, have a backup plan and let someone know where you’re going and when you intend to be back.

RELATED: Missing mushroom picker found deceased

“Locally and province-wide, SAR calls are trending upward. The availability of gear, technology and the desire to go further has driven a lot of people into the backcountry and not all are prepared for such explorations,” the release said. “A lot of people get reported missing simply because they didn’t let someone know where they were going or when they plan to return.

“Make a plan, stick to it and be prepared for any weather or travel delays. This might mean an extra day of food, or a simple rain jacket to stay dry.”

There’s more details on CRSAR’s, website at www.crsar.ca or at adventuresmart.ca.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Norm Ritchie and Tyler Abbott consult their materials before knocking on doors in the south end of Campbell River on Oct. 29, 2019. The Campbell River Search and Rescue members were taking part in a training exercise centred around an emergency evacuation. Photo by Marissa Tiel/ Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River Search and Rescue responded to three hikers that were stuck on Mt. Schoen on Sunday. They used their new hoist system to successfully conduct the operation. Photo by Campbell River Volunteer Search and Rescue/Facebook

Just Posted

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council says an attempt by industry to overturn the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in contrary to their inherent Title and Rights. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward photo)
First Nations Leadership Council denounces attempt to overturn salmon farm ban

B.C.’s producers filed for a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision Jan. 18

A fire broke out near the Willow Point Bottle Depot early on Jan. 22. Photo courtesy Ashley Laycock
Two injured in early-morning fire in Campbell River

Sailboat fire also attended by Campbell River fire crews

A Vancouver Island teacher has started a petition imploring B.C. Premier John Horgan to close provincial borders to non-essential travel and enforce stricter quarantine measures for travellers. (B.C. government)
Teacher launches petition for B.C. to close provincial border, impose stricter quarantine

Province says what works elsewhere may not work here as they look into legalities of such actions

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for witnesses after the theft of a generator worth thousands of dollars. Photo supplied
RCMP asking Vancouver Island residents to watch for stolen generator

Vehicle may have been travelling on Highway 19

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Most Read