2nd North Shore Rescue supply cache looted and vandalized
Volunteer rescue team says remote caches are vital for backcountry missions
North Shore Rescue says thieves have hit a second remote cache and stolen tens of thousands of dollars worth of medical and survival equipment, and vandalized a helipad built to aid rescues.
The looting of the Hanes Valley cache, located about three to four hours hike from Lynn Headwaters, was first spotted by a hiker. Then parks officials notified North Shore Rescue yesterday a second cache near Norvan Falls had been hit.
North Shore Search and Rescue spokesperson Doug Pope says in total, more than $20,000 worth of rope gear, camping and first aid supplies was taken.
But the thieves also destroyed a helipad and a map board for lost hikers at one of the sites using some of the equipment from the cache.
"We have a large helipad that Metro Vancouver Parks and us put in…They steal our chainsaw and they use it to cut up this very valuable helipad," said Pope.
Legacy of Tim Jones
Pope says the caches of equipment are to help the team's volunteer rescuers dropped into areas by helicopter.
"We're quite disappointed and concerned in that we rely on that gear. It's a difficult thing for us to fathom why someone would do this, and we're going to have to work hard to get that gear in place."
The caches are part of the legacy of the late team leader Tim Jones, who came up with the idea.
"It hits to home when they've vandalized the same year Tim's passed away," said Pope.
London Drugs is donating $10,000 to help replace the stolen equipment, he said.
Pope is asking anyone with information about the thefts to call police.
"They knew where the caches were and that's part of the investigation."