SARstories News is our blog for all things Search & Rescue: interesting mission reports and articles, featured SAR teams and new items on the website, upcoming conferences, gear reviews, and anything else that piques our interest and we hope will pique yours.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Search & Rescue Reading and Writing

These are the latest SAR blogs and books to come my way. 

Seeking The Lost

Author Dale Matson is a volunteer for the Fresno County Mountaineering Unit of the Sheriff's Department, who recently published a book about nine of the searches he's been involved with over the last seven years:  Seeking The Lost: Stories of Search and Rescue. Father Dale is also an Anglican Priest, a retired licensed plumber and heavy equipment operator, and a psychologist. These SAR stories are told as seen through Dale Matson's eyes as he worked with fellow volunteers and law enforcement personnel. The book begins with an overview of the search process, then tells the stories of specific searches, from call outs to conclusions. The stories include gear selection, navigation, and even the humor that can emerge in serious and sometimes dangerous conditions. Not every story describes a successful outcome but every search is treated as a learning experience.

Mountain Rescue Association Blog

The MRA published their first blog post on June 30, 2011, with What is MRA's Position on Charging for Search and Rescue? and then followed up with posts about the ten essentials and hyperthermia and heat-related illnesses. The Mountain Rescue Association (MRA), the oldest SAR association in the U.S., was established in 1959 at Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood, Oregon, and now is comprised of more than 90 government authorized units. Read the MRA blog.

Mountain Rescue Blog

The purpose of Mountain Rescue Blog is to share mountain search and rescue techniques, tools, news and opinions with others who are in the field or are interested in mountain SAR. Author Ethan Zook, a rock climber, hiker, caver and river paddler, has been exploring the outdoors since he was a child. During college, Ethan wanted to put his interests and skills to good use, so he joined the local mountain search and rescue team. He's also a firefighter/EMT-B with Hose Company #4 in Harrisonburg, Virginia, a Wilderness EMT, and he holds certifications in lifeguarding and CPR. Rounding out his outdoor resume, Ethan is a professional climbing guide and instructor. As a volunteer with  the Rockingham-Augusta Search and Rescue Team (RASAR), he helps provide mountain SAR services to Rockingham and Augusta counties and the larger Commonwealth of Virginia.  Ethan and his wife, Melissa, are now also members of Old Rag Mountain Stewards, a volunteer group providing outdoor education and rescue services to hikers on Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park. Read Mountain Rescue Blog

Sunday, July 3, 2011

New Search and Rescue Reading and Ongoing Searches

I recently received emails from two Search and Rescue team members about each of their new books....

75 Search and Rescue Stories: An insider's view of survival, death, and volunteer heroes who tip the balance when things fall apart

Author Shaun Roundy, a Sergeant with the Utah County Sheriff Search and Rescue Mountain Rescue Team and the Mountain Rescue Association Intermountain Region Chair, has just published this book of the most memorable rescues of his past 12 years with the unit, including 150 photos. He tells these stories from two perspectives -- from that of the victim who gets in over his or her head and then from the professional volunteer rescuer who puts it all on the line for strangers, sometimes in the worst possible conditions.

DEATH CLOUDS On Mt Baldy: Tucson's Lost Tragedy

This is a true story about the more than 750 heroes who participated in what became the largest search and rescue operation in Arizona's history, which took place in November, 1958. Their mission: to rescue three young Boy Scouts lost in an unforecast southern Arizona monster blizzard in the Santa Rita mountains. Author Cathy Hufault is the sister of one of three other Boy Scouts who were with the victims until they'd turned back and were able to go for help.

Read Chapter 1

Search and Rescue in the News: 

Virginia Hiker Missing in West Virginia's Cranberry Wilderness : West Virginia State Police say 56-year-old Michael Camellitti, of Stanardsville, Va., entered the densely wooded Cranberry Wilderness on May 23rd for a four-day hike, but he did not return. He has been declared missing since June 12. Read the story

Search and Rescue Crews Suspend Ground Search for Missing Hornby Island Teen : Search and rescue crews have suspended the ground search for a 16-year-old Hornby Island resident who went missing after setting out in his new kayak on the afternoon of June 29th, but the Comox Valley RCMP say they will continue their search on the water. Read the story

Just Found:

Bodies of Missing Doctor and Daughter Found in the Wilderness : Dr. Michael von Gorler, 53, from Boulder, CO, and his 20-year-old daughter, Makana, a University of Colorado student, were last heard from on June 21st, when Makana sent a text message to her boyfriend, telling him she was going to hike 14,067-foot Missouri Mountain near Buena Vista. This was supposed to be a day-hike on June 23rd. Ground searchers were assisted by two National Guard helicopters, one of which was a Black Hawk that could carry as many as nine searchers into the area. Today, their bodies were found about a mile from the summit. Read the story