Last Sunday afternoon NSR was called out by the North Vancouver RCMP to investigate a distress call received over a Family Radio Service (FRS) radio. A hiker, on Dog Mountain, heard a female voice repeatedly ask for help over the radio and subsequently contacted Seymour Resorts to report the call.
Given the nature of the distress call (lengthy and details) and it’s location NSR launched a search team via helicopter to the Suicide Gulley area. A further team was sent to Tim Jones Peak to try and gain contact with the person who made the distress call via radio. After a thorough ground and air search, the team stood down, finding no trace of a person in distress.
It is assumed that the call was either a prank or the person was able to self-rescue. To be sure, RCMP have been extra vigilant of missing persons reports and cars left overnight in mountain parking lots.
Some educational points from this call:
- If you make a distress call, and are able to self-rescue, contact the police and let them know (as this will avoid unnecessary SAR efforts).
- If you are using an FRS radio, make sure you monitor channel 1 with no privacy codes.
- It is also necessary to tell someone that you have an FRS radio. SAR crews/police do NOT monitor these frequencies. It is only useful if someone else is listening or if SAR knows that you have one.
- FRS radios only work with line of sight and range can vary between model and based on the charge.
- Having an FRS radio does not reduce the need to carry the 10 essentials and tell someone where you are going.