North Shore Rescue says its staff is being stretched thin as it deals with a record-breaking uptick in calls.
The team has already smashed records for callouts this year, having fielded 174 calls in 2021. The previous record of 151 calls was set last year.
Part of the rise is attributed to the fact that more people have taken up hiking and biking during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve just had a tremendous amount of people getting out onto the trails,” NSR team leader Mike Danks said.
“With that, people are going to get injured and we understand that. But there are also a lot of people that are unprepared for the conditions with improper footwear and not judging how much daylight hours they have to complete their hike.”
Danks said NSR it has worked to be more strategic about responding to calls and support from neighbouring search-and-rescue crews, which have also been busy.
He urges those venturing into B.C.’s backcountry to be cautious, especially during rainy conditions this weekend.
“I think if you’re going to be going out this weekend, you need to be very aware of your surroundings,” he said.
“With the creeks, I would be very cautious of any trails that you’re going to be going on. Getting caught in the river and the creeks now is going to be very hazardous and likely we will not be able to effect a rescue in those conditions.
“So these are the times where you can find to stay in the front-country, hunker down and spend some time with your family.”