Callout – Slocan Chief Cabin

Feb 11th NSAR was again activated to evacuate a subject from the Slocan Chief Cabin in Kokanee Glacier Park. The subject was suffering from heart issues and was in need of medical aid. NSAR was again able to access the area through dense valley cloud by helicopter but was unable to get back through the valley cloud on return flight. The subject was flown to the Busk ski area parking lot above the cloud cover to be safely transferred to BCEHS.


Callout – Powder Creek Lodge

Feb 9th 2016 Nelson SAR was called out to assist BCEHS with a medical evacuation from Powder Creek lodge in the Kaslo area. The subject suffered an accidental injury in the lodge itself and required serious medical aid. NSAR was able to access the lodge first thing in the morning and transported the subject to BCEHS.



Callout – 5 Mile Rescue Number 3

Nelson Search and Rescue with the help of South Columbia Search and Rescue and Kaslo were called out by the RCMP Jan 16th 2016 for another rescue in the 5 Mile drainage near Wh2o Ski Resort.

A Personal Location Beacon signal was received by the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Victoria on Saturday evening. The distress signal was transferred to RCMP and then NSAR to respond to the 5 Mile Drainage. As a PLB is a registered device the RCMP were able to trace the device to a group of 4 backcountry skiers and through some local investigation it was discovered that the group was overdue and a possible location was known.

Due to darkness, avalanche danger and the group was well equipped, a team was deployed to drive the Whitewater road through the night as an attractant and to aid the subjects if they made it out to the road in the night.

A helicopter rescue team as well as ground crews were deployed at first light to check the possible location of the PLB signal. The team did several passes over the thickly forested valley with the helicopter without success but some of the crew could smell “wood smoke” in an area of thick trees in the helicopter.  With further investigation in the area the missing group was discovered deep in the valley bottom in a makeshift camp.

They had built a snow cave for shelter and had a fire going which they used to signal the helicopter. The ground team was able to reach them by 09:11am and found them cold and tired but otherwise in good spirits. Despite knowing the area well, they had become disoriented in poor visibility and had skied themselves in a circle before they realized they were in trouble and hit their PLB button for help. The subjects were taken to a landing site in the valley and flown out to safety.

This is the third rescue in the 5 Mile Valley this year and the area has been a frequent site of rescues in years past due to the terrain and structure of the valley it has become common for even for well-equipped and experienced backcountry enthusiasts to become lost in the area. NSAR will be exploring the possibility of having signage installed to aid in navigation for those enjoying our beloved backcountry in this area.

Chandrima Lavoie Photo Credit 2

Callout – medical evacuation

Jan 6, 2016 NSAR has been called out to assist Rossland and South Columbia SAR with a backcountry callout of a local cat ski company. one of the companies cat operators found himself in an unknown medical distress and called BCEHS for help. BCEHS called out SAR to assist with the evacuation as the location was remote. All SAR teams were stood down as an employee of the company was able to reach the driver and assist in driving the subject out to medical services before SAR could arrive.

Callout – injured skier 5 mile creek

Jan 2, 2016 Nelson SAR was called out in early afternoon for a medical evacuation from 5 mile basin located behind Wh2o Ski Hill.
A well-equipped ski group was enjoying the area and the good conditions when a member of the group suffered a fall resulting in a knee injury.

Due to the location and difficulty to get their injured member out of the valley before dark, Search and Rescue was called to assist.

NSAR accessed the area by helicopter to retrieve the subject. The area was unsuitable for a landing so the team performed a hover entry of one subject and transported to BCEHS at the Nelson airport.

This group was from out of country and they did try to evacuate the subject on their own fearing a rescue bill. Before things got out of hand they were assisted by a local who educated them that in Canada such rescues are “no charge”.

Nelson SAR and BC SAR Association would like the public to know that we do not charge for rescue in Canada.
This time of year darkness comes early and situations in the backcountry can compound quickly. If you are in need of help, make the call right away. Always error on the side of safety.


Callout – Kettle River

Nelson Search and Rescue was called out Dec 30th for an unknown male subject that was witnessed struggling for survival in the Kettle River ice just east of Grand Forks. Grand Forks Fire, Grand Forks SAR and RCMP were first on scene and called for the assistance of Nelson SAR who flew one special resource member to the scene and a swiftwater team followed to aid in the rescue.
Before special resources could arrive on scene to aid the unknown subject he was lost to the river. It is unknown how long the individual was in the ice before his calls for help were heard but it appears to be some time. The search for the man was called off after dark as the conditions were unsafe for rescuers to continue.

One the morning of the 31st further special resources from Nelson, Oliver / Osoyoos and Penticton SAR were brought in to aid in the search as well as the RCMP dive recovery team. Around 10:30 am the subject was located in the river by SAR ice rescue teams and the RCMP dive team was able to recover the subject. The subject and investigation has been turned over to the BC Coroners service.

Travel on frozen ponds and lakes needs to be 4” or grater to support human loads safely, river ice can be very unpredictable due to moving water and melt freeze cycles. It is never safe to walk on or near ramped river ice without training and proper equipment. Please pay close attention to children and pets near frozen rivers.


Callout – overdue snowboarder near Creston

Dec 27th Nelson SAR was again called out to assist Creston SAR with the help of South Columbia SAR for a lost snowboarder in the Mt Thompson area. The subject was reached early in the morning and crews were forced to evacuate the subject through adverse conditions to a near by logging road. A very successful rescue done by some strong folks who were out for their second all nighter in the backcountry.

Callout – 2 overdue skiers in hummingbird pass

Dec 26th NSAR has sent out a team for 2 overdue skiers in Humming Bird pass again this evening.

Update: Subjects located on their way out to safety at 6:30 am. They were able to boot pack out after some equipment problems.

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Callout – 2 missing snowshoes in hummingbird pass

Thursday Dec 10th 2015. Nelson SAR was called out to search for two missing snowshoers in the humming bird pass area near Wh2o ski resort. Subjects were located at 2:30 am cold and tired. NSAR was able to hike them the 3 hours out to the Wh2o ski resort road.


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