Lost in the woods: Fire, rescue, law enforcement take part in exercise
Published 6:45 pm Friday, February 26, 2016
The scenario: Three men, camping in the wilds of Beaufort County, have been reported missing.
The challenge: To find them in miles and miles of woods that are home to bears, snakes and other wilderness creatures.
These were the makings for this year’s SARX — Search and Rescue Exercise — hosted last weekend by Beaufort County Emergency Management at Camp Bonner North. More than 40 registered participants from as far away as Georgia took part in the event.
The participants represented fire, rescue, law enforcement and forestry personnel, according to Curtis Avery, Beaufort County fire marshal and deputy emergency manager.
“We’ve been doing it for a good 10 years, but this is the first time the county has really taken the lead in it,” Avery noted. “This is important to aid the sheriff’s office if we do get called for a missing person … to find them and make sure they are safe.”
With orders not to elude rescuers, but not to make it too easy for them either, three volunteers were dropped off in the woods the afternoon of Feb.19. A few hours later, rescue teams were searching for them.
The situation was critical.
“One of the lost men had a medical condition, diabetes, so he was supposed to be endangered because of that medical condition,” said Capt. Shane Grier of Chocowinity EMS. Grier served as the operations section chief during the training exercise.
Searchers found clues — a simulated syringe, food wrappers, drink cans and discarded clothing — before locating the missing men’s campsite Saturday afternoon. The men were rescued later that day.