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Busy weekend prompts summer safety warning from North Shore Rescue

Click to play video: 'Busy start to the summer for North Shore Rescue' Busy start to the summer for North Shore Rescue
WATCH: Summer has only just started but North Shore Rescue is already seeing a spike in search and rescue calls. Global News Morning speaks with NSR team leader Mike Danks about summer safety in the backcountry. – Jun 28, 2022

The first hot weekend of the year in the Lower Mainland kept search-and-rescue teams busy, and has prompted a renewed warning about backcountry safety.

North Shore Rescue (NSR) team leader Mike Danks said crews were dispatched four times over the sunny weekend, twice for hikers that ended up in “pretty precarious” situations in steep drainages.

One of them, who fell into a drainage in the Wickenden Creek area off Goat Ridge, escaped with their life thanks to a two-way emergency satellite beacon, Danks said.

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“It’s very, very steep in there. And it was mixed snow and ice in that area, and he took about a 12-foot fall,” Danks told Global News Morning.

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“He had multiple fractures on his arm, also on his leg, and he had some pretty serious trauma on his head as well.”

Danks said the man was well prepared, but that the incident shows the risks that are always present in the backcountry.

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With weather warming up, he said it is important for anyone heading out into the mountains to be ready.

That means knowing the weather, and checking in with BC Parks, property owners or other hikers using an area about conditions on the ground.

It also means packing properly. Along with proper clothing and footwear, Danks recommended people carry a satellite beacon, as cell phones often do not get reception in the North Shore Mountains.

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Hikers should always be sure to pack what AdventureSmart B.C. calls the 10 essentials, which include a flashlight, fire maker and signaling device like a whistle.

Danks added that if people do become lost they should avoid trying to hike down into drainages, where people frequently become stuck.

Backcountry users should also always let someone know where they are going and when they are due to return, and plan to have enough daylight to complete their trip.

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