July 02, 2012

Better safe than sorry.

Last month, a couple of paddlers (not the paddlers in the picture below) were paddling down a river in the Yukon (the same river in the picture below).  Overnight, thanks to the melting snow from the surrounding mountains and an unusually wet summer, the river level rose.  The water pushed high into the willows along the shoreline, making it difficult - and even dangerous - to get off the river or find a safe place to camp.

For an experienced paddler, comfortable with reading rivers, this might have been more of an inconvenience than a problem, but it was beyond the comfort zone for these two paddlers.  Wisely, they had packed a satellite phone and, wisely, they had called for help.

As a search and rescue volunteer, I would much rather retrieve a safe, healthy person than search for a body.  It also got me a chance to get some time in with the search and rescue jet boat and visit a river I hadn't yet explored.

For safety (and because it's embarrassing when rescuers have to be sent out to rescue rescuers), two boats went.  The search and rescue team was accompanied by the RCMP in the RCMP jet boat from the nearest community.

Truth be told - as important as a message about being prepared, knowing your limits, and playing it safe when you're out on the land is - I wrote this entire post just so I could post this picture.


Nancy said...

:D When I took photography in school (college) I discovered how photo-journalists thought. Even when there's a gruesome crime, the taking of the photograph is not about the tragedy of the event, but how to frame the picture and how to crop it in order to take the best photograph. (Just a memory from your last point.)


P.S. Happy belated Canada Day:)

Meandering Michael said...

This was just a lucky shot. Hope you're not melting in Florida, Nancy! :)

Nemmy said...

Great shot! They should use it in RCMP recruitment brochures... you know, a career far from ordinary.