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Comox Valley Search and Rescue says ‘don’t put yourself in high-risk situations’ after three calls over the long weekend

Search and Rescue members are reminding you to limit the amount of high-risk outside activity you do during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teams responded to three calls over the weekend.

The first was for an assistance call from BC Ambulance for an injured woman in the Cumberland area.

The second was for another assistance call for an injured woman stranded in the Courtenay river across from the airpark.

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Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue team leader Paul Berry says the final call was to help locate a missing man near Qualicum Bay.

“We received a call for assistance to search for a missing male in the Deep Bay area. That started a large scale search.”

“The fellow had disappeared from his home. He planned on a short walk just before dinner around five o clock and failed to return to his home that evening. Late Saturday RCMP were called and then (they) contacted search and rescue. Because he had been missing for as long as he had been, it required a large scale search so five teams; Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Parksville, Comox Valley and Campbell River all responded,” Berry said.

He adds that because of COVID-19, search teams follow a very different procedure that they wouldn’t normally do for a search.

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“Everyone had to have the appropriate Personal Protection Equipment, (that) being masks and gloves. Everyone stayed in their vehicles until they were briefed individually. Everything we did, everything we touched had to be cleaned and sanitized. It makes for a much more complex operation.”

Berry says the nice weather gives many a good reason to get out of the house, but you should think about going on a leisurely walk, instead of that hike you wanted to do.

“The weather is a challenge. People are definitely wanting to get away from home, get out and get some exercise. There have been significant communications both provincially and locally to try to encourage people to stay closer to home, not get out into the backcountry and try to stick to low-risk activities.. but clearly, that didn’t happen this weekend.”

“We certainly want people to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather we’re having, but do so safely and don’t put yourself in high-risk situations.”

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