Busiest year on record for Central Okanagan Search and Rescue – Penticton Western News

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue (COSAR) volunteers were employed until 2020.

The team responded to 81 emergencies, a record high compared to the usual average of 60 responses. August was the busiest month with 16 calls. The team also recovered four bodies during the year.

“Although COVID19 may be responsible for the increase in recreational outdoor sports, the team also responded to a record number of urban searches for distressed people and missing seniors and children,” COSAR said in a press release.

Ten calls were made to aid other jurisdictions, including helping the Penticton RCMP with evacuations from the Christie Mountain wildfire in August and finding a missing hiker in Manning Park in October and November.

The team gained 14 regular members and one four-legged member in 2020. Chase, a two year old Labrador Retriever who is an RCMP certified civilian search and rescue dog, also joined the ranks.

Two-year-old Labrador Retriever Chase joined COSAR in 2020. (Contribution)

Nearly $ 30,000 in public donations helped keep the team up and running, including $ 15,000 from the Central Okanagan Foundation and $ 2,500 from ReMax. The rest of the donations came from the public via a donation button on cosar.ca. The money was used for first aid and rope team training, a TrailRider wheelchair and a new snowmobile.

For the New Year, COSAR said its goals are to find a new base of operations closer to the city center and to answer fewer calls. You can find more information about outdoor safety at cosar.ca.

READ MORE: Kelowna is one of the best places to visit after the pandemic

READ MORE: RCMP in Shuswap investigates suspicious early New Years day death of a woman

Do you have anything to add to this story or anything else we should cover? Email: [email protected]

@ Michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Search and rescue

Get local stories you won’t find anywhere else straight to your inbox.
Sign up here