Strathcona Park seems to be the hot spot for most distress calls received by Campbell River Search and Rescue (CR SAR) since July.
Grant Cromer, the manager of CR SAR, in a statement, said that most of the calls around this time of the year are for medical rescue of injured people in the backcountry.
Since July, CR SAR has been activated 20 times to provide a search and rescue response for people all over Vancouver Island.
The nature of the calls remains fairly stable, but the frequency is increasing, said Cromer.
During summer weekends, CR SAR can expect two to five calls between Friday and Sunday, often getting a call in the morning and another one at night as well.
“A great number of calls are from individuals who have activated their SPOT locator beacon for medical rescue, lost or delayed, or becoming trapped or overwhelmed by their environment,” said Cromer.
This year there has also been a large increase in calls to the North Island, and in particular, Cape Scott and the North Coast Trail.
“Our group has seen an increase in call volume for all of 2020, and as of today, we are at 47 calls, 8 months into the year, ” said Cromer.
The number of calls for 2020 is expected to surpass that of 2019.
“COVID-19 may have a part in that, as people have been cooped up and are anxious to get out and recreate. We don’t know the reason for sure, but the numbers show dramatic increase all over the province and SAR teams are being tasked out two and three times a day for multiple rescues,” said Cromer.