But a lost person: that's an all-hands-on-deck situation. The IC (incident commander) needs as many bodies as possible, to send in as many directions as possible. And yesterday, we had a missing hiker.
It was at Arroyo Seco, a popular campground and swimming area on a river that is normally mellow enough itself, but is surrounded by a steep—sometimes very steep, and high—canyon. Last April we conducted a rescue and a body recovery of a couple of people who had fallen off a raft in a high volume of water (not the case now) in the gorge. Another time, a woman who had slipped and fallen was brought up to safety, along with her dog, with a ropes system. It's a good idea to watch your step—and stay out of fast water—at the gorge.
Yesterday's case involved a young woman (37) who was camping with several friends and decided to take a solo hike at 4 p.m., "to the waterfall." She said she'd be back for dinner but didn't show up. Our first SAR team callout came at about 11:30 that night, and a few of our team headed out to start searching. I joined in on the second operational period the next morning.
Here are a few random pictures that I took and that my colleague Alain took. It was a good day. I'll try to remember that the next time my phone starts erupting with messages.
|Our team leader Ken, contemplating the gorge|
|Eric radioing in before plunging into the cold water|
(he's wearing a wetsuit, but still)
|Jerry went with Eric: they make|
quite a duo!
|Here we are that morning getting briefed:|
that's Ken on the right, and I'm in the middle
with Bob in the hat to the left; I am always
happy to try to keep up—I mean, hike—
|Another view of our briefing: we were a pretty small crew,|
but fortunately it was all that was needed
|A beaut of a swimming hole|