Busiest Canada Day Weekend in a Decade

If you are a SAR member in BC and you are feeling a little tired, I can tell you why.

I just looked through the EMBC Incident Summaries for the Canada Day long weekend and counted 32 incidents. That makes the three day period from Friday to Monday the busiest July first weekend for ground SAR members in 10 years!

Just before the long weekend I had posted to social media a calculation that the July long weekend is one of the busiest weekends of the year for SAR, with an average of 23 incidents on that period over the past 8 years.

I used the 8 years of data that I had accumulated for my InfoSAR project, the years from 2003 to 2010. I just went back and added in 2011 and 2012, and came up with an average of 21.7, and a standard deviation of 9.6

I only counted the three days of a long weekend which is the day off and the two weekend days in this calculation. On some years July 1st is on a week day and in those cases the statutory holiday is moved to Friday or Monday.

That means that Canada Day long weekend 2013 was the busiest one in the past decade by just over a standard deviation. We can interpret this as a statistically significant deviation from the norm, and noteworthy.

Mountain Rappelling

In the past I’ve written how SAR incidents in BC peak usually on the July or August long weekends, and presented charts showing the frequency of SAR incidents by month to back this up. The average number of incidents a month about 80, and the average per week is just over 20. To have 32 in one three day period is exceptional.

SAR Incidents by Month (2003 to 2010)

SAR Incidents by Month (2003 to 2010)

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