COSAR responded to 81 emergencies in 2020; more than the usual average of 60 a year. (Contributed)

COSAR responded to 81 emergencies in 2020; more than the usual average of 60 a year. (Contributed)

Busiest year on record for Central Okanagan Search and Rescue

The team responded to 81 emergencies in 2020; more than the usual 60

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue (COSAR) volunteers were kept busy through 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 over the course of the year.

“Although COVID19 may be behind the increase in outdoor recreationists, the team also responded to a record number of urban searches for distraught individuals and missing seniors and children,” COSAR stated in a media release.

Ten calls were to support other jurisdictions, including assisting the Penticton RCMP with evacuations from the Christie Mountain wildfire in August and searching for a missing hiker in Manning Park in October and November.

The team gained 14 regular members in 2020 and one four-legged member. 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. (Contributed)

Two-year-old Labrador retriever Chase joined COSAR in 2020. (Contributed)

Nearly $30,000 in public donations helped keep the team in operation, 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 wheeled chair, and a new snowmobile.

For the new year, COSAR said its goals include finding a new operations base closer to the city centre and having fewer calls to respond to. For more information on how to stay safe in the outdoors, visit cosar.ca.

READ MORE: Kelowna included among best places to visit post-pandemic

READ MORE: RCMP in Shuswap investigate suspicious death of woman early New Year’s Day

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


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

Search and Rescue

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

Just Posted

Penticton fire crews quickly put out a small blaze at a home on Duncan Ave. E Monday night. (Mike Biden photo)
UPDATE: House fire sends one to hospital

The fire at the Duncan Place home was cooking related

(Pixabay)
‘Roadmap out of COVID-19’: Innovate BC’s program helping businesses recover

CEO Raghwa Gopal said the tech sector is here to help brick and mortar businesses

For the second time in five years, John Pankiw has donated $100,000 to Penticton Regional Hospital.  (Submitted - Stuart Bish Photography)
Penticton Regional Hospital donation honours front-line workers

John Pankiw donated $100,000 for the second time in five years

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

A large portion of Anglemont is without running water due to a water main break on Jan. 26. (CSRD Image)
A large part of Anglemont in the North Shuswap is without water due to a water line break on Jan. 26. (Black Press File Photo)
Broken water main leaves Shuswap community without running water

The water line has left Anglemont residents either without water or with low pressure.

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Five big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19:

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

A Vancouver Police Department patch is seen on an officer’s uniform as she makes a phone call. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver man calls 911 to report his own stabbing, leading to arrest: police

Officers located the suspect a few blocks away. He was holding a bloody knife.

Kelowna seen from the top of Knox Mountain. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News file)
Homeownership unattainable for many Kelowna residents

Single-person and single-parent households often have limited options when it comes to housing

A Kelowna cannabis manufacturer has acquired another cannabis-based firm. (Black Press Media File)
Kelowna cannabis company acquires edibles manufacturer for $24.9 million

The Valens Company has acquired LYF Food Technologies

Vernon has agreed to a goose cull to control the over-populated invasive species making a muck of area parks and beaches. (Morning Star file photo)
Okanagan city pulls the trigger on goose cull

City asking neighbours to also help control over-population of geese

LaRae Richards loads an order for deliver via Uber Eats Wednesday afternoon at Red Onion Burgers in Mountlake Terrace on May 17, 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Uber Eats comes to Kelowna

There are more than 60 businesses on the online delivery platform

Most Read