Search and rescue resumes after lawsuit prompts shutdown - Metro US

Search and rescue resumes after lawsuit prompts shutdown

All but one of British Columbia’s volunteer search and rescue organizations have resumed services after shutting down or offering partial services this weekend in response to a lawsuit against one of their teams.

Quebec tourist Gilles Blackburn is suing the Golden and District Search and Rescue Association after he and his wife, Marie-Josée Fortin, spent nine days lost in the wild when they skied out of bounds. Fortin died seven days into the ordeal.

Steve Bachop, with the Provincial Emergency Program, said on Monday that no one was endangered by the shutdowns.

“In this kind of situation we go to the next closest available resource, Bachop said. “We have 90 (search and rescue teams) scattered around the province. We were able to cover any gaps there.”

On the weekend, Golden and Kimberley search and rescue volunteers stopped offering services completely, while several others offered partial services as members of each organization checked their insurance coverage in the event of a lawsuit.

“Just Golden has remained out,” Bachop said. “We’re hopeful they’ll soon resume full service as well.”

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