May, 2012 (San Diego County) -- In light of recent rescues in the backcountry, the Sheriff's Department is reminding the public to be safe and prepared for caving or hiking.
Cave hiking can be challenging and require technical skills of varying levels. Caves are dark, muddy, rocky and at times quite wet. People can become easily disoriented once deep inside. Caves are an easy place to get hurt, and no one will know if you're trapped if no one knows you're there.
Always remember, safety first. Tell someone you are going hiking, when you're entering the cave, where it is located and when you expect to return. This is to ensure if something goes wrong and you don't return on time, someone knows where to begin the search. Here are other safety tips:
- Never go caving or hiking alone
- Know your limits. Choose trails that match your level of physical fitness and areas where you are not going to get lost.
- Bring ample food, water, sunscreen, flashlight, map, GPS, first aid kit, multi‐purpose tool or knife, whistle.
- Cell phone signal may be limited, but it's still good to have a phone in case you need to call for help.
- Wear proper clothing, boots, sunglasses, hat, gloves, helmet, etc.
For more information please call, Sgt. Don Parker of the Sheriff's Search and Rescue Unit at (619) 952‐8933.
Sheriff's Search and Rescue or SAR and ASTREA conducted more than 80 rescues last year. The Sheriff’s Search and Rescue is an all‐volunteer unit. Together, they perform wilderness and urban rescues and search for missing persons. Teams are available 24 hours a day to respond to local, state and federal agency requests. To learn more about SAR, http://www.sdsheriff.net/sar/units.html