Castlegar Search and Rescue members practicing their skills at the Kinnaird Bluffs. Photo: submitted

Castlegar Search and Rescue members practicing their skills at the Kinnaird Bluffs. Photo: submitted

Why search and rescue is a free, non-judgmental service in B.C.

Castlegar Search and Rescue talks about why they do what they do

Submitted by Castlegar Search and Rescue

There is absolutely no cost for the life-saving services offered by search and rescue organizations in B.C., including the West Kootenay Search and Rescue teams, even though some might believe otherwise.

Teams in the West Kootenay Region include: Castlegar SAR, Nelson SAR, Grand Forks SAR, South Columbia (Fruitvale) SAR, Rossland SAR, Arrow Lakes (Nakusp) SAR, Kaslo SAR and Creston Valley SAR.

Castlegar Search and Rescue wants to remind everyone and anyone who recreates in the outdoors that there is no fee or charge for its service, regardless of the outcome.

“I’m sure there’s more than one person who has hesitated to call because they’re embarrassed of the situation they got themselves into,” says Milane Kutcher, one of Castlegar Search and Rescue’s managers.

“We do our training to help people in need, regardless of why they got into that trouble.”

“We feel if people believe there is a charge, they’re going to be more hesitant to call. We would really hate to see what could be a rescue situation turn into a body recovery situation because of that.”

Some people don’t always respond positively to the news of successful rescues, and believe the located individual should be charged for the service. It appears they feel that people are knowingly getting themselves into trouble, obviously Castlegar Search and Rescue feels that is a misconception.

If people knowingly go into an out-of-bounds area, some people believe that they’re taking their own risk, and they should be charged for it if they’re choosing to make that decision, whereas Castlegar SAR believe accidents happen, everyone is entitled to go have fun, and everybody is entitled to search and rescue help if it’s needed.

In addition to the fear of being charged for the service, embarrassment can also play a big role in people hesitating to call for help.

If you’re lost or injured out recreating, our goal is to help get you home safe. We don’t care why. We’ll do it without judgement. Everybody makes mistakes, everybody can get injured. That kind of stuff doesn’t discriminate.

Regardless of the scenario or one’s relation to a lost person, calling as soon as possible can save their life.

You should call as soon as you think somebody is missing or in trouble, and it doesn’t matter if you’re close family, a friend, or a casual acquaintance. If you think someone is in trouble, call right away.

To help ensure you stay safe, please visit There are great planning ideas on this site. Access the Adventure Smart Trip Plan free app at

No one ever expects to get into trouble outdoors. But a turn in the weather, mistake in judgment, unexpected injury, equipment failure, or sudden nightfall can quickly change any recreational outing into a crisis. Does anyone know where you have gone and when you expect to return?

With the AdventureSmart Trip Plan app you can easily create trip plans and send them to your family and friends. The app is available free in the Apple App Store for iOS devices and on Google Play for Android devices, and can also be accessed from any web browser.

To request help from Castlegar Search and Rescue, call 911.

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

Just Posted

Interior Health has set up a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar doctors and mayor urge residents to take COVID-19 seriously as cases are confirmed in the city

“Your doctors would like you to understand we do now have Covid cases here”

There are few details but neighbours a Second Avenue house in Chilliwack say a huge police presence descended on the home after shots were heard. (File photo)
Robson search warrant yields fentanyl and weapons

Search warrant was part of an ongoing drug trafficking investigation

Youth Climate Corps members April Gariepy, Summer Monkman and Linn Murray at work in West Arm Provincial Park, fall 2020. Photo: Submitted
Youth Climate Corps members April Gariepy, Summer Monkman and Linn Murray at work in West Arm Provincial Park. fall 2020. Photo submitted
VIDEO: Kootenay youth climate group works to protect Nelson’s water supply

Youth Climate Corps members spent five weeks thinning forest in West Arm Park

Photo: Black Press file
Trail traffic stop yields stolen cheque investigation

Trail RCMP will continue enhanced impaired driving enforcement this holiday season

Reiner Jakubowski American Peony Society Registrar Nomenclature has named his latest Creation Castlegar. Photo: submitted
New peony hybrid named for Castlegar

Reiner Jakubowski has named his latest peony creation after Castlegar.

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Good Samaritan Mountainview Village located at 1540 KLO Road in Kelowna. (Good Samaritan Society)
First long-term care resident dies from COVID-19 in Interior Health

Man in his 80s dies following virus outbreak at Mountainview Village

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

Most Read