In the summer-autumn period, the season of the so-called “quiet hunting” opens in the territory of the country. Citizens, often with families, go to the woods to pick berries and mushrooms or just to relax. There are many cases where the ignorance of the area and a painful situation lead to the disappearance of people and it is not always possible to find the lost.
In 2021, the Minsk region internal affairs bodies also received 36 reports of civilian disappearances in forest areas.
The fate of 44 people who went missing in the forest area has not been determined yet. Unfortunately, traveling for mushrooms and berries sometimes results in fatalities. In 2017-2021 alone, more than 30 bodies were found lost in the forests of the area.
Most of the losers are elderly people who, hoping for their health and a favorable outcome of a trip to the forest, go for berries and mushrooms.
There have been cases where the missing for several hours and days were in telephone communication with their loved ones. In the future, for various reasons, the communication was terminated, after which the relatives turned to the police for help in the search for citizens. Finding them was difficult and, unfortunately, did not always end well.
Therefore, law enforcement officers strongly recommend that you do not go to the forest alone. It is best to invite a partner with you, or even many. On the eve of the trip, you should recharge your mobile phones and definitely inform your family and friends which area you plan to go to. For hiking, it is best to choose familiar terrain and not go to inaccessible and unfamiliar thickets.
If you get lost, do not panic. You have to remember the path you walked, try to remember well-known landmarks, etc. If you have mobile communication, you should report the incident to the police and minimize phone calls, but do not turn off the phone itself. This will help you find yourself faster.
It is best for seniors to refrain from solitary hiking in the forest, especially if they have health problems.
In order to minimize the negative consequences, the police recommendations have been developed on how to properly organize your trip to the forest.
Be sure to inform your loved ones
If you are going to go to the forest alone (and even as a member of a small company), be sure to inform your relatives, neighbors, friends about your trip. Tell us in which area you will be looking for mushrooms or berries. Pay attention to what important landmarks are nearby: a river, a road or a train station. In case of trouble, it will be easier for relatives and police officers to look for you and you will orient yourself better. If a person did not return home at the appointed time, his companions confirm that he did not leave the forest, it is necessary to immediately call the police and do not try to continue the search alone!
What to bring
You need to look carefully at the mushroom picking equipment. If you have a mobile phone, then take it with you, check the battery charge, charge the rest. We must remember that in many places in the forest mobile communication is not available. It is best to wear a whistle around the neck.
When going to the forest, every mushroom picker should take with him the necessary medicines: bandage, iodine, matches in a waterproof package. It is recommended to choose clothes for hiking in the forest in bright colors. Camouflage suits, old jackets worn by mushroom pickers to go to the forest complicate the search for the missing, as they are not perceived in the forest area.
Actions if you get lost
First, do not panic! Try to return to the place where you broke up with your partners. If you have not found one there, look for any path, clearing or power line. If you find a landmark, stick to it and do not turn anywhere. And yet, never cross a body of water, whether it is a stream, a river and, in addition, a swamp. It is always safer to go in the opposite direction than these.
If you understand that you have to spend the night in the forest, you need to light a fire in a high place, near a large tree. You should lie down in front of the fire and under no circumstances should you sleep. Help may already be coming to you, but you will not hear it in a dream.
It is also very important in this regard to take with you more food, water, warm clothes, a knife, a compass and comfortable shoes on a hike.
It is important for relatives to know
If a person who went to the forest did not return at the appointed time, relatives or other interested persons should contact the police. If necessary, police will call rescuers from the area, dogs and organize an investigation using special equipment.
Do not remain indifferent to the sufferings of the relatives of the missing. If you find human remains or objects that indicate the possible presence of missing persons in your area (clothes, shoes, buckets, baskets, bicycles, etc.), immediately inform the nearest home affairs office by calling 102, 112.101.
Currently, there are many technical innovations that can significantly speed up the search for lost people. For example, “smart watches”, with the help of which, via GPS signal, you can track the location of a person.
The “Angel” search and rescue team has the ability to provide citizens with various mental disabilities who are prone to leave their home with special bracelets that also transmit a signal about their location.
CID Investigation Division of the Internal Affairs Directorate of the Minsk Region Executive Committee