On Thursday, August 25, 2022, Kimberley Search and Rescue, along with Bighorn Helicopters successfully located and extracted an injured hiker in the Purcell Wilderness area, northwest of Kimberley.
Peter Reid of Kimberley SAR says it was a pretty textbook rescue, made much easier because the subject had a satellite locator device.
Reid says a group of friends had hiked up into the wilderness area and camped over night.
“They scrambled up a ridge so they could get back down to their vehicle and the leader grabbed a rock and it spun. It slammed into his leg and gave him a pretty serious laceration, possibly a fracture.”
The satellite locator allowed the rescue team to get in far more quickly.
“The technology people take with them now assures a rapid response,” Reid said. “It’s done wonders for our success rate.”
Reid says without it, KSAR would have had to wait for them to be reported late, then try to find their vehicle and search from there.
“This device pinpointed their location. We saw them from the air and hiked in to get them. We were able to communicate with them. We have injury, a suspected fracture. We got that information from the subject. These devices are wonderful.”
Reid says SAR teams advise anyone going out in the backcountry have some kind of communication device. There are personal locator beacons that can send out an SOS, others will send out coordinates and two-way communication.
“At the very least, please file a trip plan,” he said.. Get the Adventure Smart app. It’s free . It will ask you all the pertinent questions and give us the information we need to know.”
Overall Reid says the Kimberley team may not have been as busy this summer as some of the teams in the area, but calls are picking up.
“We think that’s mostly because there are more tourists in town. More people in town mean more people in the backcountry.”
Kimberley Search and Rescue is a non-profit, volunteer operation. They appreciate any donations. You can do that at kimberleysar.org.