Last year, volunteers from the LizaAlert search and rescue team searched for those who went missing 726 times in the forests of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region. As a result, “It was found. Alive »completed 614 searches. The rest were found dead or never found. This year the forest season started earlier and promises to be very difficult. About how not to get lost and what to do if it happened, search engines say.
May holidays – in which summer joys, and in which berets, navigators, walkie-talkies, many kilometers along the windshield in search of the lost. For the volunteers of the LizaAlert detachment, the calls for people who have not returned from the forest start with a nationwide mass excursion. Each month their number will increase to reach their peak in August and September (in August last year, incidentally, there was a record – 258 forest searches per month).
This year the season started earlier – with the incredible story of Andrei, who wandered in the Mshinsky swamps for four days and four nights. It was close to the Chasha massif, on the border of the Gatchina and Luga regions. Andrei from St. Petersburg (41 years old, excellent health, experienced hunter and fisherman, knows the place almost perfectly) went fishing. Overnight. Well, maybe two. When he did not return on the third day, relatives and friends rang the alarm bell.
Andrei was searched by volunteers from many search teams, professional rescuers and locals. By the evening of the fourth day, his backpack was found. There are bear tracks nearby. Lot. But even experienced rangers have not been able to unravel them: the already swampy forests are flooded with plenty of water in the spring. Drones were involved, but neither a person nor a fire that could be lit for the night could be seen from them.
Andrew came out of the forest himself. With blood-stained legs, much thinner, slimmer, but alive. Why he was lost, he does not understand. How many days and nights he spent in the forest and between the swamps – he does not remember, everything came together. He says that he tried to walk constantly, ate frozen blueberries, struggled with hallucinations, from time to time he fell into a dream right in the mud of the swamp, when he woke up, he wandered again with his last strength, without really understanding where. On the morning of the fifth day, I went out to the ruins of an old monastery and finally realized where I was.
“What happened is a vivid depiction of the fact that anyone can get lost,” the LizaAlert team said. – In addition, our experience shows that people with poor orientation in the forest are afraid of it – almost do not get lost. Just those who “know the forest like their breath”, “have been here a thousand times”, “in the forest, like at home” wander. Carelessness and self-confidence are very bad companions. Therefore, we call on everyone, absolutely everyone, to deal with the concentrations in the forest responsibly. Even if “it’s not far from here, only for half an hour”. Sometimes this turns into a search for several days. And yes, no matter how hard we try, not everyone returns home.
How to get into the forest
1. Be sure to let your loved ones know exactly where you are going and when you plan to return. If you do not arrive on time, they will start looking for you and time, as you know, is the most important factor for a successful outcome.
2. Dress appropriately. No camouflage or dark colors – clothes should be bright, ideally with reflective elements. It will make you more visible. In the end, you can buy a signage vest at the nearest gas station – it is cheap, bright, light, you can put it on any jacket. Do not forget the waterproof shoes.
3. Put in your backpack a fully charged cell phone, a power bank, a knife, matches or a lighter, a whistle, a flashlight, a raincoat, an extra warm jacket, a water supply, food, medicines that you are constantly taking. . There are many apps that help you navigate the area – let one of them be on your smartphone.
If an elderly person is walking in the woods, it would be wise to connect a service to his or her phone that allows relatives to monitor their movements.
If you get lost
To stop! You are already lost and you do not understand where you are. The more you panic, the further you go and the worse the situation.
Call 112. Even if the phone says “no network”, “no connection”, call 112 or press “emergency call”, “SOS”. Calls to the rescue service can also be made if your mobile carrier does not have coverage in this area.
Call the LizaAlert hotline at 8-800-700-54-52. The detachment has experts who have the knowledge to remotely determine the location of a person and take him out of the forest by phone.
It’s very important – do not go anywhere and stay where there is a connection. Stop calling everyone and talk only to a specialist who can help you. Take care of your phone.
I listen. You can hear your name as researchers. If the voice has dropped and you can not scream, but you did not get the whistle, you can hit a stick with a stick. While waiting for help, light a fire if possible: hypothermia is the most common cause of death in the forest.
What should relatives do if a loved one gets lost in the woods?
Call 112 and report the loss. At the same time, call the LizaAlert hotline. Forest applications are included in the category of urgent searches and work on them begins immediately.
If the loser has a working phone, you do not need to constantly call him with the questions “Where are you?” How are you? ”, Emptying the battery. Stop communicating with lost professionals.
Take part in the search, because you and your loved ones are the most motivated search engines. The facilitator will give you a job that does not require special skills.
Evgenia Tsinkler, especially for Fontanka.ru