SEARCH and rescue officials are once more reminding people to be better prepared when venturing into the wilderness.
The reminder comes after two people became lost in the area last week.
“On Saturday August 27, 2011, at approximately 11:30p m, Terrace Search and Rescue (TSAR) was contacted by a RCMP constable from New Aiyansh to organize a search for a missing mushroom picker,” reports search and rescue member Nici DeCario.
“The subject was a 53 year old male who was not from the area. The SAR Manager and Constable reviewed the Urgency Rating and due to the unfamiliar area at night, determined to wait until morning for a SAR response.
“The drive to the site is 1.5 hours from Terrace. On Sunday August 28th, starting at 9 am, 7 TSAR team members conducted numerous sound sweeps in the area for the missing picker,” he said.
A still-smoldering fire was found by one team south of where the man was last scene but he was not located by evening.
Searchers returned to Terrace with plans to resume looking in the morning with the assistance of Smithers and Kitimat teams.
But the man walked out late that evening after following a powerline to a road.
“Other than a lighter, the subject had very few of the 10 essentials promoted by search and rescue groups throughout BC,” reported DeCario.
“The lighter was enough for the missing male to dry his wet clothing and fight off the effects of hypothermia from the cold night outside. When the missing male returned home, he was dehydrated and sore from his ordeal,” DeCario added.
On the second incident, the call went out to search and rescue team members the evening of Aug. 31 when a female mushroom picker was reported missing around the Northwest Regional Airport.
“When Terrace Search and Resuce arrived on scene, RCMP were conducting sound attraction with their vehicles. The RCMP talked with the subject via her cell phone and determined she was in a 600m wide strip of timber south of the airport,” DeCario said.
“The area was sound swept and no subject was found. Cellular service with the subject was lost when the subject’s battery died. The RCMP requested a cell ping to be conducted by Telus; two pings were located on with 300 m and1km accuracies respectively. The 300 m accuracy ping placed the subject in a high probable area,” DeCario continued.
The woman was then found by searches accompanied by a police dog handler but was having difficulty breathing and had chest pains.
The ambulance service was called and the woman taken to hospital.
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The website www.adventuresmart.ca carries the following list of items to bring when out in the wilderness:
1. Flashlight, spare batteries and bulb
2. Firemaking kit – waterproof matches/lighter, firestarter/candle
3. Signalling device – whistle or mirror to signal searchers if you become lost
4. Extra food and water – 1 litre/person
5. Extra clothing (rain, wind, water protection and toque)
6. Navigational/ Communication Aids (maps, compass, GPS, charts, cellular phone, satellite phone, hand held radio – fully charged battery) – know how to use them
7. First Aid kit – know how to use it
8. Emergency shelter – orange tarp or large orange garbage bag. These can also be used as signalling devices
9. Pocket knife.
10. Sun protection (glasses, sunscreen, hat)