AFTER THE death of a search and rescue member down south, local search and rescue members took time out to practise some techniques on the Kalum River.
Terrace Swiftwater Rescue Technicians (SRT) trained in boat entry, rescuing unresponsive and responsive subjects from the water, and defensive swim techniques to avoid river hazards such as logs, tree root balls and other floating and submerged debris, said Dwayne Sheppard of Terrace Search and Rescue.
“I believe that it is important to continue with our training and prepare our members for the hazardous swiftwater environment. These skills are essential to our well-being when conducting search and rescue operations,” said Sheppard.
The death of Sheilah Lorraine Wheeler Sweatman, who was from Nelson and a member of the Kootenay Swiftwater Specialists Team, was the first death of a search and rescue member in the province’s history, said Sheppard.
Local search and rescue volunteers go out to help people lost not just in the water but also do rope rescues, avalanche rescues and other searches.
Many searches are done when it’s dark and go unnoticed by the public, he said. “The friends and family of the rescued person and the rescue person themselves are very appreciative of the work we do,” said Sheppard, adding search and rescue here go on rescues around the northwest.