A search and rescue volunteer with Nelson Search and Rescue drowned in the Goat River near Creston, British Columbia yesterday while helping undertake a search of a submerged vehicle. The young woman fell overboard from a watercraft and did not surface. Efforts to locate and rescue her were unsuccessful (click here for the article in The Vancouver Sun).
Search and rescue is inherently dangerous. Approximately 6 volunteer (unpaid professional) search and rescuers have tragically died in training or missions in BC in the last 20 years; this averages to 0.3 fatalities per year.
No data is readily available for comparable statistics to BC firefighters but according to the US Fire Administration and the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, 1091 American firefighters died while on-duty between 2000-2009. This averages to 109 deaths per year.
They are true heroes that deserve our gratitude. Their professionalism, technical expertise and tolerance for risk are unparalleled. Our thoughts and prayers go to her family and friends and to the Nelson Search and Rescue Group.
Source: ‘How risk can be seen following R v. Porter’ Health & Safety at Work H.S. at W. (2009) Vol.16 No.1 Pages 4-5
Discussion of R v. Porter (James Godfrey) (2008) EWCA Crim 1271. The case itself concerned a headteacher who was charged with breaches of health and safety legislation following the death of one of his three-year old pupils who fell while jumping down some steps in the school playground.
More details of the incident can be seen here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1020519/Headmaster-blamed-death-pupil-playground-fall-wins-appeal-conviction.html
The Mail on Sunday reports that three climbers from a party of seven, were killed in an avalanche while climbing to the summit of 3,300ft Buachaille Etive Mor in Glencoe. Apparently they had reached 2,700ft when the avalanche struck.
The paper reports that “an avalanche, which may have been started accidentally by another climber above them, smashed through the group sending them crashing 600ft down the mountain.”
“Hamish MacInnes, 78, a founder of the Avalanche Board which assesses the risks of avalanches in Scotland, said: “There are a lot of avalanches on this particular
mountain – this is one of many, but also one of the worst. In the steep parts the snow can’t accumulate, but these climbers were in a gully where snow can accumulate and that’s where the trouble was. “People have to assess for themselves what the risks are, and luck comes into it too. I think these people have been pretty unlucky.””Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1127171/Pictured-The-brothers-killed-avalanche-Scottish-Highlands.html