Be prepared outdoors

The timing of Rokosh’s letter could hardly be better after a search last week hihglighted the importance of good wilderness practice.

The timing of Del Rokosh’s letter (‘Charge the lost,’ The NEWS, Oct. 22) could hardly be better. Having been called out on a search in Errington for a lost mushroom picker at3 a.m. last week, the importance of good practice in the outdoors was, once again, highlighted.

The lost person had become disoriented and caught out by darkness. Although fairly well prepared, he had broken his flashlight and lighter when he took a fall in dense, rotting slash. Having already lapsed in and out of consciousness because of hypothermia, he would have been unable to respond if there had been much further delay in finding him.

This is one of the main reasons that no SAR group locally supports charging for call outs. If we had been searching for an unconscious subject we simply would not have found him until it was too late and, in fact, he may have been undiscovered for weeks or months. Searchers would, rather than just losing a night’s sleep, have spent several days combing the bush over a large potential search area with success being defined as finding a corpse, rather than bringing a family member home to those who care about him.

People will, without doubt, delay calling for help if they believe they’ll be charged. The search area will have widened exponentially and searches will go on far longer and with far greater cost. Sadly, in spite of this greater investment, people’s lives will be lost on a more regular basis.

If there were one thing I would like to see done differently, it is for everyone to carry some basic safety equipment, even on short daytime hikes on local trails. If the subject of this latest search had been carrying a whistle, our team would have been able to pinpoint his location and end the search around an hour earlier. Please do take advantage of someone else’s misfortune, and use it as a lesson on how to avoid it happening to you.

Michael Addiscott, Ground SearchTeam Leader, Arrowsmith Search and RescueQualicum Beach

Just Posted

Ian Thorpe named as new chairman of RDN board

Electoral Area E director Bob Rogers to serve as vice-chairman

Little Qualicum Cheeseworks cheese linked to 5 E. coli cases in B.C.

People are asked to throw out or return ‘Qualicum Spice’ cheese

Nanoose Bay teen aims to build a bionic arm

Prosthetic prototype project latest in Ballenas student’s math, tech ambitions

Racist slur cleaned off memorial at Qualicum First Nation graveyard

Site was hit by vandals on Friday; many immediately offered support and assistance

Deep Bay artist creates abstract sculptures using cement

Birgit Piskor’s artist journey has blossomed from gardener to sculpture

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Prince Charles turns 70 with party, new family photos

Charles is due to have tea on Wednesday with a group of people who are also turning 70 this year

Calgarians vote ‘no’ to bidding for 2026 Winter Games, in plebiscite

Out of 767,734 eligible voters, 304,774 voted and 171,750 said ”no.”

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Student arrested at Vancouver Island elementary school

Pupils never in danger, incident unrelated to the school

Vancouver Island leadfoot clocked doing 143 km/h in an 80 km/h zone

Driver issued $483 ticket, has vehicle impounded after pinging RCMP radar in Lantzville

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Tragic conclusion to search for overdue hiker west of Campbell River

An overdue hiker was found deceased on the shore of Lower Campbell… Continue reading

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Most Read