SAR sees spike in rescue missions

Staff Writer

Authorities urge hikers to be prepared before heading into the wilderness

Register Staff

Inyo County Search and Rescue and the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office issued a release this week, urging the recreating public to remember that backcountry experiences inherently come with risks, and that proper planning and good judgement can reduce the number of call-outs for rescue personnel.
From June 2019 through the release date of the press update (Aug. 29), there have been more than 80 search and rescue incidents and an additional five deaths.
This has put extreme strain on the all-volunteer SAR team and other resources. Each year SAR experiences an increase in seasonal rescues and recoveries – this year is no exception. The Inyo SAR team has compiled a list of precautions for the recreating public:
•Do not hike alone or split up from your group. Ever.
•Always share your itinerary with someone responsible – make sure they know where you and your group will be and what time you will return.
•Be prepared for potential medical emergencies by being equipped with basic first aid gear.
•Check local weather often and be prepared for sudden hazardous changes.
•Know how to use your gear ahead of time; including: crampons, ice ax, ropes, etc.
• DO NOT USE SEARCH AND RESCUE AS YOUR BACKUP PLAN – Search and rescue is for emergencies only.
•Safety is YOUR responsibility.
Helicopters are dangerous, especially in the mountains. Use of helicopters increases risk for all involved and damages the wilderness experience for other backcountry users. Do not assume a helicopter will be able to assist you. Weather conditions such as heat and wind can limit the ability to fly. Furthermore, other missions might take priority over yours. The bottom line – recreate responsibly.