“You have about 15 minutes to live”

Most of BC’s avalanche deaths occur in the B.C. Interior

“You have about 15 minutes to live.”

That is if you are buried by an avalanche, according to Princeton Ground Search and Rescue leader Randy Rorvik.

“Avalanche is a big consideration for our response,” said Rorvik, in an interview with The Spotlight following numerous road closures in the area due to heavy snow and avalanche warnings over last weekend.

Highways 3 and 5A, as well as Coalmont Road, were closed Friday and reopened at different times the following morning.

However Rorvik said danger still exists for outdoor enthusiasts who might be hiking, skiing or snowmobiling in the back country.

“Any cutback on a forest service road or a trail has the potential to slide, in my opinion,” he said.

Rorvik urged sportsmen and women to take proper precautions when outdoors, pack essential survival gear and to carry avalanche beacons that can be used by members of a party to locate a fellow traveller under the snow.

Along with specially constructed snow probes and shovels, they could be the difference between life and death.

“That’s pretty standard. Any snowmobiler should have them nowadays. There are lots of real stories of how they have saved lives.”

Rorvik said it is also possible to purchase air bags that are designed to help someone survive an avalanche.

RELATED: Avalanche danger climbs to high for Okanagan

The ground search and rescue squad keeps a close eye on avalanche conditions, he said, as there are strict protocols to follow if the crew is called out when they exist.

Avalanches kill an average of 10 people a year in this province, according to a 2015 BC Coroner’s report.

Almost 70 per cent of those fatalities occur in the Interior and most of the victims are either snowmobilers or skiers.

Ninety percent of people killed by avalanches are men, and the average age of those victims is 39.9 years.

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook.

 

Just Posted

Line break shuts off agriculture water in Black Mountain

BMID says no outdoor watering allowed until repair to line is complete

Young boy struck by car in West Kelowna

Boy, believed to be aged 6, treated at the scene by paramedics

Kelowna’s Pandosy Village Business Association looks to attract shoppers

Merchants to hold their annual Love Our Village Day promotional event Saturday

Updated: Kelowna cops investigating a serious hit and run Friday afternoon

Police say BMW driver fled the scene after a pedestrian was seriously injured on Rutland Road North

Cherry growers hope to avoid helicopter use

Extended rainfall can damage cherry crops

What’s happening

Follow Social Squad memeber Matthew Abrey to find out what’s happeing this weekend

Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna suspended for 75 games

23-year-old pitcher faces assault charge

Vancouver Canucks tab Quinn Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

University of Michigan standout was second defenceman picked in first round

Gun, drugs and cash seized in arrest of alleged B.C. fentanyl dealer

Vancouver Island man Brent Connors is facing nine charges in relation to investigation

Jogger spent two weeks in U.S. detention centre after accidentally crossing B.C. border

Cedella Roman, 19, crossed the border while out for a run

PHOTOS: Police rescue baby seal found on rocky B.C. shoreline

Marina Mammal Rescue Centre recommends residents observe from a distance

B.C. woman with severely disabled son keeps getting parking tickets

‘There has to be something they could do’

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

Updated: Weather office says more thunder and strong winds possible Friday afternoon, evening

Environment Canada says winds could gust at up to 70 kilometres per hour

Most Read