Sitka Search and Rescue responded to yet another call this week — the fourth in four days. Family members reported two campers who didn’t return on time. The couple were found unhurt, but as KCAW’s Vanessa Walker reports, the summer search and rescue season is officially underway.
SAR received a call at 9:27pm Wednesday (6-24-2015), from family members of two people who hadn’t returned from a camping trip.
The family had spoken with the couple, described as a woman in her 20s and a man in his 30s, around 1pm Wednesday afternoon. The pair got in touch from their skiff in Silver Bay, and said they would be home soon. When over 8 hours passed, and they didn’t respond to calls or text messages, family members called search and rescue.
SAR Captain Lance Ewers says the the city’s emergency response vessel located the couple, about an hour later, safe and sound in Bear Cove, near the Medveijee Hatchery.
“What happened was they said they lost track of time. The fish were biting and they were up on land along the river,” Ewers said.
Even though the two were safe, Ewers says search personnel didn’t want to leave them there alone at night.
“They actually put a skate line down and they wanted to pull that skate line. So our search and rescue boat just stood by and followed them back to where they launched at Crescent Harbor,” he said.
Ewers says the recent uptick in calls isn’t uncommon in summertime, because people are enjoying the outdoors more.
But there are things people can do to stay safe out there.
“Always having a trip planned, and making sure loved ones are informed of what that plan is” he said. “And just know that we don’t mind helping. A lot of times, people wait too long to call and ask for assistance,” Ewers said.