Tag Archives: water safety

Survival Weekly – 3/17/15…

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Welcome to another edition of Survival Weekly, where the real wilderness survival “reality show” plays out everyday, in the wild places around our world. These unscripted stories will give you insight to the true threats and challenges you may face in your outdoor pursuits. So sit back, relax, and read on to get a dose of reality to sharpen your most valuable survival tool. – BPO

Featured – 

I have followed this search, because like the victim, I have a passion for hunting/trapping and sometimes my adventures are by canoe. 

3 1/2 month Search resolved – http://snewsi.com/all/tag/Medard+Kowalski

Body of missing hunter found – http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_27719585/coroner-called-incident-york-haven

News – 

Not a substitute for a good trip plan, but a valuable tactic if you have cell service – http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/trailheadselfie-suggested-by-coquitlam-search-and-rescue-1.2995140

Cellular booster on a drone –http://www.richmondreview.com/business/296260251.html

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Water Safety – 

Remains of missing divers found – http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/remains-found-at-site-of-diver-disappearance-at-cape-schanck-on-mornington-peninsula-20150314-1442hk.html

Recovery of missing kayaker –http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-31881419

Crew of tugboat rescued – http://www.app.com/story/news/crime/jersey-mayhem/2015/03/15/tugboat-sinks/24805889/

Crew of scientists rescued –https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/26677790/wa-reef-scientist-rescued-by-indon-navy/

Surfer rescued –http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/surfer-rescued-after-being-trapped-under-cliffs-of-moher-1.2140488

Recovery of four year old boy –http://kimt.com/2015/03/15/family-friend-boy-dies-after-being-found-in-hancock-county-lake/

Kayakers rescued –http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/five-boaters-rescued-in-parry-bay-off-metchosin-1.1793178

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Winter Sports – 

Avalanche safety advice – http://www.policeone.com/police-products/tactical/articles/8433637-Tactics-tips-and-gear-for-avalanche-safety-and-survival/

GoPro footage of avalanche rescues – http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/03/13/06/41/aussie-skier-rescued-after-almost-suffocating-under-snow-in-switzerland

Hiking – 

Hiker’s account of getting lost – http://www.pe.com/articles/mountain-762088-corona-trail.html

Blind hiker rescued – http://globalnews.ca/news/1883320/blind-hiker-rescued-from-the-lions-after-getting-disoriented-on-multi-day-hiking-trip/

Lost & Injured hikers rescued –

Hunter-gatherer – 

Climbing – 

Canyoneering rescue https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2015/03/11/hrc-man-airlifted-to-drmc-after-40-foot-fall-in-johnson-canyon/#.VQjLRo5QMsM

Injured climber rescued – http://www.kptv.com/story/28521541/deputies-injured-climber-rescued-at-smith-rock-state-park

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Vehicles – 

Stranded off-roaders rescued –  https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2015/03/12/rsw-search-and-rescue-assists-in-search-for-2-stranded-men/#.VQjLN45QMsM

Rescue helicopter crashes – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31889073

Stranded drivers rescued – http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/drivers-and-passengers-rescued-on-burgeo-highway-1.2997651

Small plane crash – http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/four-bodies-recovered-crashed-plane-6256398

Urban – 

Search for missing man resolved – http://www.ldnews.com/local/ci_27717879/searchers-find-east-hanover-missing-man-unhurt

Missing dementia and Alzheimer’s patients –  

Interested in learning skills to handle emergencies like the ones you read in Survival Weekly?  Check out BigPig Outdoors Survival 101 class  – http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/survival-101-1.htm

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Survival Weekly – 1/29/15…

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Welcome to another edition of Survival Weekly, where the real wilderness survival “reality show” plays out everyday, in the wild places around our world. These unscripted stories will give you insight to the true threats and challenges you may face in your outdoor pursuits. So sit back, relax, and read on to get a dose of reality to sharpen your most valuable survival tool. – BPO

Featured – 

Somehow I missed this incredible story. It has been said and proven that people in good shape are harder to kill. Tough workouts and athletic events build perseverance and the mindset to push through mental and physical barriers. As the author stated in the article, this guy is not built for swimming long distance. Outstanding display of mental and physical toughness. 

Man falls overboard, swims 9 miles to shore – http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/13/opinion/nyad-rob-konrad-swimming-survival/index.html

News – 

I think drones will be a huge asset in SAR, so I will be posting news feeds about them –   http://www.theprovince.com/news/Coquitlam+Search+Rescue+hoping+provincial+using+aerial+drones/10762383/story.html

SAR helmets now offering attachment points –  http://www.policeone.com/police-products/search-and-rescue/articles/8202924-New-search-and-rescue-helmets-offer-accessory-mounting/

Winter Sports – 

Snowboarder rescued after three day ordeal – http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/strong-willed-snowboarder-rescued-after-3-nights-in-whistler-backcountry-1.2204801

Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)
Visitor’s Body Found Along Yellowstone Ski Trail

The body of a Montana man was discovered this past weekend along a park ski trail.

Snowshoers called 911 around noon on Saturday after spotting what they thought was a frozen human body in the snow along a groomed ski trail in the northern part of the park.

Rangers responded to the Frog Rock Trailhead, which is south of the Grand Loop Road, eight-and-a-half miles east of Mammoth Hot Springs.

They discovered the body of 52-year-old Merik Morgan from Belgrade, Montana, not far from the ski trail along the Blacktail Plateau Drive.

While initial indications are that the man succumbed to hypothermia, the incident remains under investigation.

Injured snowshoer rescued – http://www.intelligencer.ca/2015/01/28/sar-techs-rescue-injured-hiker

Ice climber rescued – http://www.ktvq.com/story/27943018/ice-climber-rescued-from-mean-green-near-cody

Hiking – 

Olympic National Park (WA)
Body Of Missing Hiker Found

On Sunday, January 25th, searchers, aided by several dog teams, located and recovered the body of missing hiker James Thomas Griffin in very rugged terrain near the Boulder Creek trailhead.

Griffin, 60, of Port Angeles, Washington, was the subject of an intensive five-day search that began on Christmas Eve.

Griffin’s remains were found by a search dog team in a very steep, rugged and densely forested area about a third of mile from and nearly 1,000 vertical feet above the trail.  An investigation at and around the scene showed no indications of foul play or wildlife interactions.

Griffin was last seen by other hikers around 4 p.m. on Monday, December 22nd, at Olympic Hot Springs. He was reported missing on December 24th when he did not arrive at a Christmas Eve dinner as planned.

Griffin’s daypack was found on December 25th about a half-mile from the trailhead.  Despite the five-day search involving over 20 people and several search dog teams, no other clues were located until Sunday.

Six dog teams from the all-volunteer group German Shepherd Search Dogs searched on Saturday; two teams searched on Sunday.

Air ops delivery helps rescue hiker – http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/successful-air-search-and-rescue-conducted-near-rankin-inlet-1.2930745

Lost hiker found –http://www.dailyastorian.com/Local_News/20150128/seaside-search-and-rescue-finds-lost-resident

Missing woman found unconscious in blizzard conditions – http://www.dailyastorian.com/Local_News/20150128/seaside-search-and-rescue-finds-lost-resident

Lost hikers rescued –http://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/local/cedar-city/2015/01/28/ic-search-rescue-find-couple-year-old-child-near-trail/22501137/

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Hunter-gatherer – 

Hunter rescued after 6 days – http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/2015/01/27/hunter-missing-for-six-days-found-alive/22424449/

Border Patrol locates missing hunter. Whistle and flashlight used for signalling – http://www.kvoa.com/news/border-patrol-rescue-60-year-old-hunter-on-tuesday/

Climbing – 

Climber injured – http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/65394854/man-falls-on-rocks-on-pisa-range

Hueco Tanks climbing accident – http://www.kfoxtv.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/Man-falls-off-cliff-at-Hueco-Tanks-search-and-rescue-team-sent-to-render-aid-71586.shtml#.VMrdP_5QMsM

Injured climber rescued – http://napavalleyregister.com/star/news/local/climber-injured-rescued-upvalley/article_d8815de6-7f5b-5085-bb8c-46fcbaa65303.html

Water Safety – 

I fall in the lake at work – https://bigpigblog.com/2015/01/29/man-in-the-lake-lessons-learned/

Vehicles – 

ATV rollover – http://www.yumasun.com/news/wellton-fire-department-also-played-role-in-rescue-of-man/article_4fa17ab2-a29f-11e4-8fb6-e32e732a6a36.html

Heart attack at 30,000 feet. Paramedics to the rescue –  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-2924551/Firefighters-hailed-heroes-reviving-passenger-heart-stopped-beating-flight-southern-California-Houston.html

Stranded off-roaders rescued –   http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2015/01/25/dsc-search-and-rescue-assists-stranded-couple-on-upper-bear-valley-road/#.VMrekv5QMsM

Urban – 

Missing dementia and Alzheimer’s patients –  

Interested in learning skills to handle emergencies like the ones you read in Survival Weekly?   Check out BigPig Outdoors Survival 101 class  – http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/survival-101-1.htm

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Man in the Lake – Lessons Learned..

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Cosmic twist of fate?

Or self-fulfilling prophecy?

After 15 years of working on a boat, the odds finally caught up to me. On Saturday, while working by myself, I fell off my boat and plunged into the 40 degree water of Fontana Lake.

Just a couple weeks ago I stated in a blog post that  “Getting caught out in crap weather overnight or falling in the lake are possible scenarios in my winter time work.” Well, I have both checked off now.

Pictured above is one of the last pictures my iCracked phone would ever take as I retrieved it from my pocket. The tongue sticking out is a by-product of my exuberance and would have some type of Haka noise if there was audio. Moments later I would launch into an automated response to remedy my situation, but I will get to that later.

First, I would like to dedicate this post to my dear friend Turdis..

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Former hoghunter and ranger, he is also a graduate of BPO’s Survival 101, so when I found out that he was taking the Wilderness First Responder class taught by my buddies,I asked them to make sure he got a nice soak in their final scenario. I have been assured that the red stain on his pants is fake blood and not the results of legendary, urine marking dye in the creekl.

Karma, however,  had other plans that day.  Turdis volunteered and on the other side of the mountain, I was falling overboard.

I also want to add this picture to my pictograph that I used for my introduction at the Pennsylvania Game Commission academy last week..

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Before teaching,  I was asked to introduce myself to 24  cadets and several members of the tracking team for the lecture part of the class. Having slept  through two academies myself, I figured I would use a pictograph to depict my outdoor career and turn it into a teaching point.

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I used it to show my adventures, and more importantly misadventures, and discuss the importance of decision points and exposure. Each injury or incident brought about lessons, just like the one depicted in this post, and sharing them is a great learning tool and keeps the ego in check. The mini van at the end of the story is good for the latter as well.

And while one student commented that I was accident prone, I really just have greater chances based upon the sheer volume of time spent outdoors and the cadets are no different. Starting down the path of resource protection, not only will they have to face the hazards of any typical law enforcement officer, they will also have a 30 year exposure to outdoor hazards, some of which can come unexpectedly, but a lot can be mitigated by the right mindset, skills, and gear.

Fast forward to Saturday and you will find me pre-baiting traps halfway up the lake. That’s me and my boat, the red star. I am working through the weekend by myself to make up for my trip up North.

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Isolation – check…

Cold water – check..

Cold weather – check..

10 – 15 mph winds – check..

Perfect recipe for the last on my “bucket list” of survival scenarios.

Immersion has long been the stalwart holdout on my personal experiences I use to convey the catalysts of wilderness emergencies, having been injured, disoriented, stranded, broken down, wrecked, caught out in bad weather, and caught out after dark without a flashlight, all in a wilderness setting.

Okay, time to shut up and get to the part where I get wet.

The lake is way down this year, so when I pull into our usual parking spot, it is too shallow. I back off and aim for the left bank, which is steep and rocky. Our slam anchor has long since disappeared, so we have been using a 20 pound navy anchor and piling rocks on it to hold the 24 foot SeaArk mini-barge.

After anchoring, I leave my lifejacket in the cab, grab my pack, my rifle,  and then navigate the ledge around the cab to disembark. Here is that ledge

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Not a lot of room for a gun toting, pack wearing 200 pounder, but there is a handy rail up high to hold onto as you slide around.

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A conservative estimate of the number of times I have slid around that cab over my career would be upward of 10.000 times, and my body rounds the corner, grabs the bar, and slides forward on autopilot.. The red arrow shows the location of the vertical support that my hand has to skip in order to keep sliding forward.

Whether or not my new gloves and new pack were minor contributors to the unfolding events, at the exact moment my hand was skipping the vertical bar, a gust of wind pushed the boat sideways and I grabbed thin air. The image of my multicam gloved hand reaching for the bar seemed surreal as I fell backward into the water wearing my pack and rifle slung around my neck.

The water was about 8 feet deep at that point, but I popped back up to the surface. My pack, which contains a cut down closed cell pad and dry sack for it’s bulkier contents added to my bouyancy as I made the short swim to shore. My rifle, slung neck only to ditch in case of this very situation, was noticeably heavy while swimming, but made it with me.

The first thought, having done multiple “Man in the Creek” drills, was how much warmer the water felt with all my clothes on. It hovered in the high 30’s all day, so I was layered up, head to toe, with merino and synthetics that were picked for this very event. All my layers pictured below..

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When you train for something and it finally rolls around, you can’t help but be excited at the chance to put your training to use. My already great day had just got a thousand times better and it took the next thought to snap me out of my exuberant state.

“Oh shit…my phone”

Deep in my water logged pocket was my “new” phone. In the last two years, I have killed two Kyocera Torques that are supposedly “Bear Grylls” proof, so I switched to an iPhone 5 after the demise of my last one.

On the list to buy was a Lifeproof case, but on day 2 it fell off my truck and smashed the screen. My buddy gave me a case last week, so I figured I would fix the screen before I threw it in the case. Those plans were never completed, and amazingly after the plunge,  it worked, only to die a day later.

Phone taken care of, I went into autopilot, wringing out my clothes just like any Survival 101’er,  and whipping out the garbage bag from my survival kit before I realized I had my pack with me. We always train worst case scenario of pocket kit only, so having the luxury of my pack was a welcome realization.

In the dry sack is a complete change of base layer, socks, a primaloft vest and a primaloft quilt (woobie), that I carry since I was stranded years ago.

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Off go the wet clothes, on go the dry ones, and I topped everything off with my rainsuit. Good as new and I used the garbage bag for the wet items.

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“Old Andrew” would have kept working at this point, but wiser in age now, I realized it was time to head in since my radio and phone both got soaked and I wasn’t sure if they would pull through.

Back at the boat dock, I maintained my professional demeanor and politely refused the offer to use the cart to haul my “tras”h up the ramp, keeping my swimming escapades to myself. I figured I would save myself the ribbing for a couple days when I didn’t have a bag of soggy clothes to add to the jokes, but I did have to make one call to my survival buddy.

His response was the exact same as years ago, when I called him from the hospital and told him  I got snakebit.

Me – Guess what?

Robert – You didn’t get injured did you?

Me – Nope, I fell in the lake today at work…

Robert – That’s so cool!!

Like me, using and validating our training is very rewarding in an unplanned event. We both love to push ourselves in training and have seen positive results when actual events happen.

So on to lessons learned.

1. I recently had a discussion with a very experienced SAR trainer about the merits of the “Man in the Creek” drill and the associated risks. While our opinion differs slightly, we both agree on mitigating risks in training, with me edging towards increasing the intensity.

What I noticed from having done the drill a couple weeks ago to being in the real world scenario, was a complete air of confidence, that the brief swim in cold water was laughable, and I didn’t even have to think about how to solve the problem, falling straight back on the training I have done multiple time over the years. https://bigpigblog.com/2015/01/08/class-53415-practice-what-you-preach/,

Now more than ever, I stand by my training protocol, having witnessed first hand the benefits. My only tweak will be to address the prospect of having your backpack, even though we train for a “lost pack” scenario.

2. The components of my kit worked as intended. They are waterproof by nature (fatwood/innertube & garbage bag) or by design (PJ balls in wax paper). No leaks on the Strikeforce

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3. The Sea-to-Summit bag in my right cargo pocket containing my navigation tools leaked, not a lot, but enough that I will be sourcing a replacement.

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3. Both lighters were waterlogged, but working after I gave them some love.

4. The components of my first aid kit stayed dry, but I think I am going to double bag it from this point on. All my other gear’s performance was not affected by the water because of it’s nature (canteen, cook kit, etc.) and my headlamp worked fine.

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5. That falling in the lake is a great way to justify the mobile radio we need mounted in the boat. My portable radio made the swim okay, but if both it and my phone went down, I would have been out of luck except for the float plan I called in earlier that day.

**Update – 3/10/15 – Completed

6. Two hours before my swim I had been daydreaming of a new anchor system that I had come up with years ago. It would have prevented the boat shift and my procrastination on that project needs to end.

**Update – 2/2/15 – Completed

7. Plans are now in place for backpack storage on the front of the boat, so we don’t have to walk the ledge with our packs and rifles, and can wear our lifejackets up to the point of stepping off the boat.

**Update – 1/29/15 – Completed.

8. We have sleeping bags, pads, and a tarp on the boat. A dry sack of clothes will be added soon, complete with a change of shoes. My waterlogged boots soaked through my dry socks by the time I got to the station.

**Update – 2/2/15 – Completed

9. I can’t wait to test how much buoyancy my pack provides. While I unbuckle it during creek crossings, I keep it buckled on open water so it doesn’t get tangled up with my gun sling. I have swum with a pack on before during a canyoneering trip, but I want to experiment more now.

10. It is great to have a boss that came up through the field. He understands the exposure and took a plunge in the reek himself back in the day.

On Monday, I told my hunting partner. We had our laughs and then started planning on how to prevent it from happening again. I could have kept it all quiet, nobody would have known, but to do that robs me, him, and everyone else of a great learning opportunity and brings to mind a poignant quote..

“There are no mistakes in life, only lessons. There is no such thing as a negative experience, only opportunities to grow, learn and advance along the road of self-mastery. From struggle comes strength. Even pain can be a wonderful teacher.”           – Robin Sharma

It’s not all Budweisers and bikinis when you work boat patrol. Having the right mindset, skills, and gear should be passengers on every trip..

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Survival Weekly – 1/14/15…

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Welcome to another edition of Survival Weekly, where the real wilderness survival “reality show” plays out everyday, in the wild places around our world. These unscripted stories will give you insight to the true threats and challenges you may face in your outdoor pursuits. So sit back, relax, and read on to get a dose of reality to sharpen your most valuable survival tool. – BPO

Featured – 

Future Darwin Award winner recounts his survival ordeal – http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/snowmobiler-shares-story-of-survival-stranded-during-snowstorm/30584778

News – 

Contracts awarded for SAR satellite services – http://www.satellitetoday.com/telecom/2015/01/13/techno-sciences-awarded-contracts-totaling-7-5-million-for-satellite-search-and-rescue/

Winter Sports – 

Snowmobile fatality – http://infotel.ca/newsitem/vernon-search-and-rescue-at-the-scene-of-serious-snowmobile-incident/it15930

Hiking – 

Search resumes for missing hiker – http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/liang-jin-search-to-resume-in-north-shore-mountains-1.2898972

Hikers rescued – http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/three-men-rescued-aberdyfi-search-8409702

More hikers rescued – http://www.syracuse.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2015/01/dec_forest_rangers_two_successful_rescue_missions_in_adirondack_high_peaks.html

Hunter-gatherer – 

Eight hunters rescued from ice flow –http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/8-hunters-rescued-from-ice-floe-south-of-coral-harbour-1.2897056

Fisherman airlifted – http://infotel.ca/newsitem/vernon-search-and-rescue-at-the-scene-of-serious-snowmobile-incident/it15930

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Climbing – 

SAR Team caught in avalanche during rescue – 

Search and rescue volunteers faced a life-threatening situation when two avalanches fell in the slopes of mountain Esja outside Reykjavík during a rescue operation on Sunday evening. Two of the volunteers were tossed 80 meters (262 feet) with the second avalanche, one of them injuring his leg.

They had been called out because of a hiker, a Norwegian, who had contacted the 112 emergency hotline between 5 and 6 pm on Sunday, requesting help, as he couldn’t find his way down from Esja in the deteriorating weather conditions,visir.is reports.

Over 100 search and rescue volunteers from ICE-SAR were called out to search for the man. It soon turned out that he was located in the innermost part of Blikadalur valley and the volunteers drove there on ski-doos.

Among them were Guðmundur Óli Gunnarsson and Gísli Símonarson. They had driven their ski-doos up a steep slope but had to leave them approximately 500 meters from where the man was located. They continued on foot. Shortly afterwards an avalanche fell, throwing them ten to 15 meters but leaving them unharmed.

“We had to ask ourselves whether we should carry on or back out of the situation. There were only 200 meters left to the location where we thought the man was,” said Guðmundur. They therefore decided to continue. “He had turned cold and said he had never been as happy in his life as when he saw us there.”

Guðmundur and Gísli brought the man to their companions and then returned to pick up their ski-doos. Then a second, and much larger, avalanche fell. “Suddenly everything started moving, the snow just set off all around us and we rolled down some 50 or 80 meters,” Guðmundur recounted.

Guðmundur said they were lucky to have escaped relatively unharmed, although he injured his foot. He described it as a terrible experience to have been caught up in the avalanche and admitted that he had feared for his life at one point.

“Naturally we seriously considered withdrawing our team but we knew that we were very close to the man who was lost and that his condition was unstable. So we jointly decided to carry on and save the man,” Jónas Guðmundsson of ICE-SAR, who directed the rescue operation on Esja on Sunday, told visir.is. He added that if it had taken them a few more hours to get to the man it would have been too late.

“We who live nearby tend to underestimate Esja. It’s a real mountain. [When climbing] we achieve an elevation from zero to almost 1,000 meters [3,280 feet],” Jónas stated.

Gísli pointed out that it’s important that people look at the weather forecast before setting off and make sure that they have the right equipment. “The sun might be shining and the weather be good but during a two to three hour hike the weather can change very quickly.”

ICE-SAR search and rescue teams were called out ten times last year to save hikers from Esja, often under difficult conditions.

Water Safety – 

SAR team recovers body – http://www.wltribune.com/news/287720561.html

Vehicles – 

Driver rescued – http://www.kxii.com/home/headlines/Search-and-rescue-operation-in-Grayson-Co-for-lost-woman-288206091.html

Urban – 

Interested in learning skills to handle emergencies like the ones you read in Survival Weekly?   Check out BigPig Outdoors Survival 101 class  – http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/survival-101-1.htm

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Survival Weekly – 12/22/14…

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Welcome to another edition of Survival Weekly, where the real wilderness survival “reality show” plays out everyday, in the wild places around our world. These unscripted stories will give you insight to the true threats and challenges you may face in your outdoor pursuits. So sit back, relax, and read on to get a dose of reality to sharpen your most valuable survival tool. – BPO

Featured – 

Got survival gear in your rig? Wrong turn leads to 10 day ordeal – http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2014/12/22/australia_family_stranded_in_the_wilderness_for_10_days_after_taking_a_wrong_turn.html

News – 

Officials seek $10.000 from rescued hiker – https://bangordailynews.com/2014/12/19/outdoors/baxter-state-park-officials-seek-10000-from-hiker-to-pay-for-search/

SAR exercise coordinator fined for failure to obtain permit – http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20141216/NEWS01/141219666/Probation-fine-for-ski-area-operator-

Winter Sports – 

Father and daughter spend night in snow cave (two videos) –   http://globalnews.ca/news/1738628/father-and-daughter-rescued-from-whistler-mountain/

Hiking – 

Injured hiker rescued – http://koin.com/2014/12/14/injured-hiker-59-rescued-near-wahkeena-falls/

Hikers rescued – http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/search-and-rescue-incident-cape-brett/5/210820

Lost hiker rescued – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11377318

Search suspended for missing hiker – http://www.oregonlive.com/milwaukie/index.ssf/2014/12/post_41.html

Hunter-gatherer – 

Body of missing fisherman found – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11377580

Hunting dogs rescued from gorge – http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-30481711

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Climbing – 

Buffalo NR – AR
Injured Climber Rescued In Difficult Nighttime Operation

On the afternoon of November 30th, BUFFSAR, the park’s search and rescue team, was activated for a high angle search and rescue mission involving a fall in the Ponca Wilderness near the Hemmed-in-Hollow Falls area.

Camron McLaughlan, 21, of Ozark, Missouri, was free climbing a vertical cliff when he fell from near the top of the approximately 150-foot-high bluff onto a ledge. He fell approximately 25 feet and landed on a ledge that was the size of a large round dining table. His companion ran up the very steep trail to a point where he had cell phone coverage and called for help.

ICS was immediately put in place, with Ranger Melissa Moses as the incident commander. Members of BUFFSAR were split into squads and positioned themselves above and below McLaughlan. The high angle squad traversed the rim of the canyon along a game trail that mirrors the ledge of the 209-foot-high waterfall. District Ranger Jason Flood rappelled down to him to begin initial treatment while the squad set up the lowering system.

As the litter reached the victim, litter attendant Logan Tucker had to wedge himself against the cliff face, as the ledge was too small for an additional person. Due to the height of the cliff, additional rope was added to the lowering system using a fisherman’s knot. After packaging McLaughlan, the litter was lowered in a horizontal position approximately 130 feet to a larger ledge and was then converted to a vertical position and lowered the remaining 150 feet through an extremely steep and heavily vegetated slope to the bottom of the bluff.

The litter squad took over the operation from there and began the carryout portion of the SAR. The terrain was extremely steep, with the litter team traversing over two-and-a-half miles of trail with a 1500 foot gain in elevation. Low angle belay systems were utilized on several occasions due to the steepness of the terrain. BUFFSAR brought McLaughlan to the trailhead at approximately 3 a.m. The waiting ambulance took him to North Arkansas Regional Medical Center in Harrison for initial treatment.

Within a matter of a few hours, the weather turned very quickly from a high of 73°F to 33°F, with a wind chill factor of 17°F, and it began sleeting.

This rescue, which occurred entirely at night and with rapidly deteriorating weather, was one of the most technically complex rescues in Buffalo National River’s history and serves as an excellent example of interagency teamwork.

In addition to the Buffalo National River protection rangers and BUFFSAR volunteers, groups participating in this operation included Alpena VFD, Arkansas Forestry Commission, Boone County Sherriff’s Office, Carroll County Sherriff’s Office Rescue Team, Compton VFD, Harrison Fire Department, Mennonite Disaster Services, National Park Service Fire Module, Newton County Sherriff’s Office, North Ark Regional Medical Center Ambulance, Tri-County Search and Rescue, and the Steel Creek Campground Hosts. In all, about 60 people were involved in the operation. Hot food and beverages were provided by the Red Cross to the members of the rescue party, who were more than ready after a major exertion and a 30-degree temperature drop.

Water Safety – 

Coast Guard searches for missing crew member –  http://www.guampdn.com/article/20141222/NEWS01/312220003/Search-ship-s-missing-crew-member-continues

Search continues for missing boy – http://westhawaiitoday.com/community-bulletin/search-continues-boy-missing-hapuna

Fisherman and Coast Guard rescue boaters – http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/27625514/coast-guard-rescues-four-people-from-boat-in-murrells-inlet

Vehicles – 

Missing snowmobiler rescued – http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/rescuers-find-missing-snowmobiler-in-gallatin-canyon/article_c6fa069c-8715-11e4-8da0-f7e06464238e.html

Two snowmobilers rescued –  http://www.chaffeecountytimes.com/free_content/article_ba752b18-87d8-11e4-9120-2fa4d7bf9e65.html

Early morning river rescue – http://lostcoastoutpost.com/2014/dec/18/river-rescue/

Stranded teens rescued – http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2014/12/18/cmm-search-rescue-team-locates-stranded-teens-on-cedar-mountain-in-early-morning-hours/#.VJg2GV6gAHA

Drinking + ATV’s + Icy River = Bad News – http://www.adn.com/article/20141215/village-travelers-feared-lost-under-river-ice-had-been-drinking-troopers-say

Snowmobiler breaks through ice and is rescued – http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/tuktoyaktuk-man-rescued-after-fall-through-ice-on-snowmobile-1.2874047

Urban – 

Search for missing man – http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/64349258/search-for-missing-christchurch-tradie-fruitless

Search suspended for missing man – http://www.kob.com/article/stories/s3654122.shtml

Interested in learning skills to handle emergencies like the ones you read in Survival Weekly?   Check out BigPig Outdoors Survival 101 class  – http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/survival-101-1.html

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Survival Weekly – 12/15/14…

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Welcome to another edition of Survival Weekly, where the real wilderness survival “reality show” plays out everyday, in the wild places around our world. These unscripted stories will give you insight to the true threats and challenges you may face in your outdoor pursuits. So sit back, relax, and read on to get a dose of reality to sharpen your most valuable survival tool. – BPO

Featured – 

I pulled this story out, not only because it is a good read, but because the following statement is false

“If you don’t have a way to keep the lighter dry, once the flint is wet, it’s not going to work,” said Armstrong. –  http://www.nelsonstar.com/news/285726061.html

A lighter is a valuable tool and has limitations, but with the right knowledge and skills they can be overcome. After spending the night in 28 degree weather with only a sheet of plastic, Carol (and her lighter) soaked in 40 degree water for almost 10 bone chilling minutes. Once she emerged into the 38 degree weather with 10 mph winds, she built a fire with only natural tinder and her wet lighter. 

Methodical, trained, and now skilled..

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News – 

EMS in technical rescues – http://www.firehouse.com/news/12025075/applying-ems-capabilities-to-a-technical-rescue-incident

Winter Sports – 

Two snowboarders rescued – http://flatheadbeacon.com/2014/12/08/two-skiers-rescued-hellroaring-basin/

Hiking – 

Stranded hiker rescued – http://www.jrn.com/ktnv/news/Search-and-Rescue-team-looking-for-stranded-hiker-at-Red-Rock-285645901.html

Lost hikers rescued – http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/local/2014/12/14/hikers-rescued-palm-springs/20402215/

Hunter-gatherer – 

Missing Christmas tree hunter rescued – http://www.kcaw.org/2014/12/08/lost-christmas-tree-hunter-found-after-intensive-search/

Missing hunter rescued – http://www.capebretonpost.com/News/Local/2014-12-11/article-3972209/RCMP,-search-and-rescue-locate-missing-hunter/1

Large scale search for missing hunter continues –  http://www.skyhidailynews.com/news/14194849-113/search-rescue-county-gcsar

Search for missing hunter enters two week mark – http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2014/12/missing_new_cumberland_teen_se.html

Climbing – 

Stranded climber airlifted off cliff – http://globalnews.ca/news/1720500/watch-thai-navy-rescues-climber-stuck-on-cliff/

Fatality in New Zealand alps – http://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.aspx?id=198699

Water Safety – 

Rescuer swept into Los Angeles River (with video) –  https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152931017849614&fref=nf

Couple rescued from flooding Los Angeles river –  http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Rescuer-Dives-Into-Swollen-LA-River-Searching-for-Men-Reported-Clinging-to-Trees-285634601.html

Coast Guard rescues four off Keys – http://keysnews.com/node/61117

Fourteen rescued from sinking boat –   http://www.kelownanow.com/watercooler/news/news/Provincial/14/12/12/Marine_Search_and_Rescue_Save_14_From_Sinking_Boat

Stuck in the mud. Girls rescued from tidal flats – http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/watch-incredible-moment-two-teenage-4808684

Vehicles – 

Search and rescue team locates missing boys from stranded vehicle –  http://www.ecprogress.com/index.php?tier=1&article_id=16576

Search underway for missing ATV riders – http://www.adn.com/article/20141213/3-missing-near-kwethluk-atv-recovered-river

Urban – 

Interested in learning skills to handle emergencies like the ones you read in Survival Weekly?   Check out BigPig Outdoors Survival 101 class  – http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/survival-101-1.html

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Survival Weekly – 12/9/2014…

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Welcome to another edition of Survival Weekly, where the real wilderness survival “reality show” plays out everyday, in the wild places around our world. These unscripted stories will give you insight to the true threats and challenges you may face in your outdoor pursuits. So sit back, relax, and read on to get a dose of reality to sharpen your most valuable survival tool. – BPO

Featured – 

Man vs. Bear – Your chances of getting attacked by a dog are exponentially higher than being attacked by a black bear, but knowing what to do is good info to have on board. I always tell people that if they knew how tough they were, hikers would get eaten all the time. A 200 pound animal that can climb a 100 foot beech tree like a squirrel has some serious power. Fortunately they don’t realize how soft and chewy we are and so it comes down to a dominance issue.

The following story has good points. Injury led to the attack on the hunter, but the hunter survived because he took the fight to the bear. This is key. If you act like prey, you will be. Prey doesn’t fight back. I have punched a bear in the face that tried to come in my tent  and “Rambo” Ricky, the badass you see carrying the tranquilized bear, has kicked several in the face with his logging boots. 

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Whether it is a bear in your camp or an intruder in your house, when it is time to fight, don’t be prey!!

Man defends against 500 pound bear attack with knife –  http://www.wbir.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/12/09/man-bear-attack-knife-minnesota/20127583/

This article describes tourniquet use afterwards –   http://www.hngn.com/articles/44151/20140930/massive-black-bear-fatally-killed-minnesota-hunter-knife-brutal-attack.htm

– Thanks to Jeff for the heads up on the story

News – 

Changes coming for Virginia search management –  http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/local/legislation-being-drafted-to-improve-missing-person-searches/article_ac18e1bb-874b-5cee-aa1b-22fe947d0ec1.html

RescueMe Ballon on Kickstarter – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/651668573/rescue-me-balloon

Winter Sports – 

Fatality at Eldora Ski Resort – http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_27098793/boulder-sheriff-eldora-skier-22-dies-after-apparent

Missing snowmobiler – http://www.inforum.com/content/search-missing-moorhead-snowmobiler-sheyenne-river-called-until-friday-morning

Hiking – 

Mount Rainier National Park (WA)
Injured Hiker Rescued At Panorama Point

Late on the afternoon of December 2nd, a  911 call was patched through to Mount Rainier dispatch from an injured 61-year-old hiker who had broken his lower leg in a fall. He slipped on a steep icy slope and fell 50 feet just above Panorama Point, coming to rest after hitting a rock hard enough to result in a compound fracture of both lower leg bones of one leg.

A group of skiers descending from Camp Muir fortuitously came upon the accident site and the injured hiker. The group was better prepared than the great majority of backcountry travelers and was able to radio park rangers with the GPS coordinates and other pertinent information.  They then went to great lengths to protect, rewarm and care for the man for several hours of cold and windy conditions while rescuers were summoned to the park to perform a carryout.

Teams from Tacoma Mountain Rescue, Seattle Mountain Rescue and Olympic Mountain Rescue were battered by high winds as they performed the late night evacuation by rescue litter. The operation included several steep-angle technical roped lowerings down the icy slopes of Panorama Point.

Rescue efforts continued into the wee hours of the morning.  The injured hiker was then transported by ambulance to the hospital.

Remains of missing hiker found – http://www.prescottenews.com/index.php/news/current-news/item/24596-thomas-lang-remains-believed-to-be-recovered-nearly-a-year-after-disappearance

Lost hikers rescued – http://www.marinij.com/marinnews/ci_27088302/marin-search-team-rescues-four-hikers-lost-at

Missing hikers rescued – http://www.benningtonbanner.com/localnews/ci_27069494/state-police-rescue-pennsylvania-couple-hiking-white-rocks

Hunter-gatherer – 

Search for missing teen hunter – http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2014/12/missing_teen_hunter_search.html

Climbing – 

Cavers rescued from mine shaft – http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-30366818

Water Safety – 

US teams to assist in search –   http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/390800/news/world/us-rescue-teams-join-search-for-missing-south-korea-boat-crew

Body of kayaker recovered – http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/man-missing-after-kayak-capsized-in-taylors-creek/story-fni0fee2-1227147050487?nk=42f0ada16bfd20fe69df75f514b38a48

Coast Guard saves crabbers – http://www.dailyastorian.com/Local_News/20141208/coast-guard-rescues-more-crabbers-friday

Vehicles – 

Deadman anchor and tow strap for getting unstuck in sand – http://www.nocarnofun.com/how-to-pull-your-truck-out-of-trouble-arabs-knew-this-lifesaving-trick-for-centuries/

Urban – 

Missing Campbell County woman and possible suspect – http://www.wbir.com/videos/news/local/scott-campbell-morgan/2014/12/08/tbi-no-confirmed-link-between-missing-woman–wanted-man/20124615/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Interested in learning skills to handle emergencies like the ones you read in Survival Weekly?   Check out BigPig Outdoors Survival 101 class  – http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/survival-101-1.html

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