SAR Day 44: For god’s sake, make the beeping stop!!
I really shouldn’t complain, but 5 calls in 12 hours is quite a lot.
Sunday night started with a late evening page for a lost person near Burnaby Lake. I did not respond to the call, but I did monitor it through pages and emails, and it was resolved around 1:00AM Monday.
In the AM, a second call came in for a BASE jumper stranded on the Chief, the second jumper in the last few weeks. Since there was already one on-going call, I rescheduled part of my day and responded. The jumper was clinging to some trees 100m above the route called “Seasoned in the Sun” to the left of the grand wall area. After some discussion and heading to a staging area, we were glad to see that the jumper was being rescued by some friends. After determining that he was uninjured and that assistance was not necessary (and since he was not the one who had called 911), the part of the team assigned to this rescue packed up to assist with the other call.
My day diverged from SAR at this point because I had some family matters to attend to. However, before leaving I heard that there was possibly a second lost person in the same area as the first two. How this call was resolve I do not know, but from my experience it was probably a false alarm.
Around 6PM I became available to assist again, and as I came up on the radio to see if the call was still going, I was startled by yet another page. Another call, this time for an injured hiker near Garibaldi Lake!
As I was driving to the SAR Base, I hear one of the helicopter pilots announce he had located the two lost hikers; they were in fact 700 feet below the summit of Columnar Peak; as we later learned they had been there most of the day, within a few hundred meters of where the radio repeater had been set up in the morning.
Here’s the problem; I’m typing this at quarter to eleven, so that day’s not over yet. That’s 5 calls I’ve been directly paged with, and the day’s not over yet.