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Regional SAR teams respond to variety of calls

As is common in the summer, Search and Rescue sees an increase in calls as more and more people recreate in the backcountry, and the weekend was no different.

Fernie Search and Rescue responded to a pair of calls at the same time on Saturday.

The first response saw four rafters fall out of their raft near Morrissey, with crews helping to locate the rafters and return them to safety.

The second response involved a hiker who had broken their ankle along the Ammonite Trail east of Fernie. The Class D Fixed Line (CDFL) was used by Fernie SAR to execute a longline rescue by helicopter. Fernie SAR said the man was safely extricated and transferred into the care of the BC Ambulance Service.

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“We are seeing a lot more recreational traffic in our area as travel increases,” said Fernie SAR. “Simultaneous rescues stretch our resources significantly, and we would encourage people to play safe.”

Fernie SAR said the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to hamper their response times and increase their risk as they must take necessary precautions.

We are seeing a lot more recreational traffic in our area as travel increases. Simultaneous rescues stretch our resources significantly, and we would encourage people to play safe; the ongoing pandemic continues to slow our response times and increase our risk.

Meanwhile, Columbia Valley Search and Rescue was called to action early Monday morning by the RCMP after reports of an overdue hiking group in Kootenay National Park.

CVSAR reached to Parks Canada Visitor Safety for assistance due to the hikers’ location.

“The group was out for a point-to-point day hike and encountered a trail closure due to a bridge being out,” said CVSAR. “They were forced to spend the night outside eventually finding their way to the trailhead and were able to call in at first light.”

CVSAR got the call around 4:35 am on Monday.

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