Re: One more 'Safety' Com

Posted by FrankP on May 4, 2005

A SAR being called off after 48 hours really isn't that unusual. We do it all the time in ground rescue.

Mostly it has to do with available resources. Searches take a vast amount of resources, (especially at sea, where they likely used air teams as well as surface teams) and it's hard to have that many people and their equipment tied up for a long period of time.

Add to that the fact that the CG likely didn't have a lot to go with as far as initial data, and you have a huge search area that is difficult to cover. No known last location basically makes the entire area for a 10 mile radius a reasonable search area and that's just too big even if half of it is land, you're still talking about a 200+ square miles of area to search; it takes several hours (minimum) to search 1 square mile properly so obviously you can't do it all.

Simple statistics show us that after 48 hours most people are dead or found. It's easier and more cost effective to save your valuable resources at that point to be available for another search attempt should one arise. Yes, it's pretty cold to act that way, but triage is, unfortunately, a necessary part of a SAR team's life. Sometimes that means medical triage, and other times it means leaving people to die who /might/ still be alive because you just don't have the resources to help them. Laws of diminishing returns and all that...


In Response to: One more 'Safety' Comment by Ice - Phil on May 1, 2005