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Gallatin Co. Search & Rescue seeing increase in swift water rescues

Posted at 11:19 AM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 13:19:10-04

BOZEMAN — Outdoor activities could lead to good memories if it doesn’t require a trip from Search and Rescue.

“So far, we’ve already seen a need in hiking accidents - response from Search and Rescue, and then we’ve also seen an influx of swift water rescue,” said Gallatin County Search and Rescue Commander Capt. Scott Secor.

It’s only the second week in June, but already Search and Rescue has had a busy month.

“The reason why we’re seeing more accidents on the water right now is spring runoff is nearing peak, and so we get faster, higher water, and it takes people by surprise this time of year,” said Secor.

Search and Rescue technicians have seen about average activity this year -- until recently.

“We’ve seen about average up until last week where we’ve had this complete influx of swift water calls,” Secor pointed out.

“These are dynamic calls and it is hazardous at times but we’re in the business of mitigating that hazard for ourselves as well as the people we are responding to,” said Richard Gauron, a rescue technician.

With 12 years of experience with Search and Rescue, Gauron has some advice on how to avoid needing them this summer.

“It’s great to get out and recreate and push yourself a little bit here, but understanding the hazards and your own limitations can keep you out of a situation that will ultimately end up with a visit from one of us,” Gauron said.

And of course preparation.

“Dressing for the conditions, be prepared to spend the night if you had to, bringing food, medical supplies," said Secor. "Those kinds of things. That’ll keep people out of trouble.”