SAR: high numbers of calls from people who are ‘unprepared’

LOST CREEK LAKE, Ore. — Just last week, search and rescue divers in Josephine County recovered the body of a drowned swimmer.

In Jackson County, Sgt. Shawn Richards says they responded to 11 calls for people injured or lost on hiking trails.

“They go out, you know, thinking it’s going to be obvious where turns are… and it becomes that it’s not very obvious and now I’m lost and I don’t have a map,” he said.

Sgt. Richards says sometimes outdoor enthusiasts don’t use the proper gear or try an unmapped shortcut.

“You want to have a backpack with food, water, and clothing so you can layer,” he said.

Sgt. Richards says it’s not just important to carry a map, bring a life jacket, have a GPS, or some kind of signalling device, but to tell other people about your plan.

“Here’s my route… and this is the time I should be back,” he said.

“Obviously you need to let people know where you’re going… it’s not safe to hike alone,” said Deputy Mike Burns, Siskiyou County Search & Rescue.

Deputy Burns says they’ve had 61 calls this year, many of the rescues on Mount Shasta where the snow pack is much thicker than last summer.

“The nights are getting colder now so you need to be prepared for when that temperature drops and you’re out in the elements, out in that elevation,” he said.

Both agencies urge you to be prepared, so you don’t find yourself out of your element while in elements.

“You could still hike around in your tennis shoes but once you get up high, you need to be still prepared with your ice ax, crampon, helmet,” Deputy Burns said.

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