With the province beginning to open up, Hope's SAR team is donning gear and jumping feet first into swift water rescue practice. (L-R) Jeremie Parisien, Mathew Baerg, Renee Coghill (Swiftwater Team lead), Taysha Grindon, and Kevin Meredig. (Submitted/Walter Miller)

Splish-splash! Hope SAR team splashes into swiftwater rescue techniques

Local swiftwater rescue team trains ahead of a hot summer

There’s no doubt about it—humans love to engage in any adventure Mother Nature’s bounty has to offer.

But along with the excitement often comes risk, which is where the provincial Search and Rescue (SAR) teams come in hand: trained volunteers, SAR teams engage in rescue attempts in any weather condition, in nearly any physical environment.

However, when COVID hit Canada, many of the anti-transmission rules “halted a lot of training opportunities,” said Renee Coghill, who’s the Hope SAR Swiftwater lead.

That said, as things have begun loosening up this year, Hope’s SAR members have donned their rescue wear and continued to train for the unknown.

We have “been keeping up with an intense training schedule for 2021,” continued Coghill. “Our swiftwater team has continued putting in multiple hours per week focusing on local waterways.

(They practice) subject rescue, self rescue, rope systems, and site assessments to identify different hazards and changes (in) our local systems,” added the team lead.

And now that the province is open for summer, Coghill says the team just wants to be ready for anything they may encounter.

“We know that with the hot spring and early summer we’ve had has made people flock to local waterways and lakes, and (we) want to stress the importance of being safe in and around these places” because not everyone has elite rescue training, nor can the team attend every call instantly. It’s better to play safe than need rescuing.

For more information on the Hope SAR team, please email info@hopesar.vr-sar.org.