Kimberley SAR involved in Lussier search

Team conducts avalanche check by helicopter before authorizing search teams

Kimberley Search and Rescue personnel board a helicopter in Centennial Field last Monday.

Kimberley Search and Rescue personnel board a helicopter in Centennial Field last Monday.

Kimberley Search and Rescue and Kimberley RCMP were involved in a search for someone in need of medical aid  near the Lussier River Forest Service Road on Monday and Tuesday.

The subject was located in good condition on Tuesday, says Scott Macleod, president of Kimberley Search and Rescue.

The search began when a sign requesting assistance was found at the intersection of the Lussier Road and the Ram Creek road.

Kimberley RCMP Acting NCO Chris Newel gave this report.

“On Monday RCMP received a call from a snowmobiler in the Lussier/White Swan area that a person may need medical attention.

“The area is remote and accessible only by snowmobile, SAR was activated and a helicopter was utilized to assess the avalanche risk. While conducting the assessment, they made some checks to locate a male known to reside in the area, but he was not located.  On Tuesday an RCMP Helicopter was brought to continue the search.

“Kimberley RCMP officers began making inquires in the area and Canal Flats, they located the subject in Canal Flats in good health.  He did require assistance but he was fine now.”

As Newel said, the search didn’t go ahead until a helicopter flight with SAR personnel over the search area to determine avalanche danger before search and rescue teams could go in.

In this year of high avalanche danger, Macleod says such precautions are necessary.

“I was Search Manager and decided to request an avalanche assessment. This year the avalanche assessment is quite common,” Macleod said.

“You don’t want to send people out when it’s really dangerous.”

A Level 2 assessment tech out of Fernie was brought it and flew with Macleod, who is a Level 1 tech, over the area.

“We did the assessment by helicopter and flew over the roads. We found the sign, but there was nobody there. We flew over the area but couldn’t locate anyone.”

The search stood down late Monday and resumed Tuesday. It ended when the subject was located near Canal Flats.

As for avalanche danger in the area, it was there, Macleod said.

“When we do an assessment we are looking for obvious slide paths, recent slide activity, signs of creep.  We can assess how much sun a slope has had and even how deep the snow is.

“There were areas of concern in the Lussier and Ram Creek area,” he said.

Kimberley Search and Rescue members are always on call to go out at a moment’s notice and they are also always recruiting new members.

If you are interested in search and rescue, you can call Macleod at 250-417-5309 or 250-427-5998.

As soon as enough new members are recruited KSAR will be offering a basic search and rescue course.

 

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