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Snowmobile Patrol and Training
Riding a snowmobile safely is a challenge. It is common practice to learn to ride with no prior safe operating instruction. We take no driving lessons, no safety course and a good many of us donâ€™t even read the operating and safety instructions that come with our snowmobile. We learned a safe speed to drive by sliding out of control and maybe even getting thrown off our machine. We learned to drive more slowly and carefully in new areas after bouncing through, or flying over the handlebars after burying our machine in hidden depressions or wind tunnels.
Each of us can tell of many near disasters that have taught us the hard way how to operate our snowmobile more safely. Unfortunately some of these learning experiences are tragic. We all know some stories about disasters. Like: The new rider who bought a Tiger Cat, got on it out on a snow covered field, pinned it, hit a swale of snow and flew off his machine into a tree and killed himself. Or the young lady who wanted to try her boyfriendâ€™s big machine on the lake - hit an ice ridge at top speed and was dead on impact with the ice.Fortunately we have been hearing some new stories for the past few years. At Patrol Leader certification courses we ask about incidents the Patrollers have been involved with.
We heard of the rescue of two snowmobilers who had gone over a cliff and would surely be dead if they were not spotted by a Patrol. And we heard about a snowmobiler who went back to rescue his girl friendâ€™s sled by himself after taking her to their car in the parking lot. Patrollers found her frantic because her boyfriend was gone so long. The Patrollers found him sitting on his snowmobile, stuck in deep snow, so stiff that they had to carry him in a sitting position to the parking lot and happily eventual recovery. A snowmobiler was separated from his buddies in a white out and it was getting dark.
A quick trip by the Patrol to the last seen area and the lost snowmobilers lights were spotted and he was brought in safely. Patrollers are experienced riders who have taken the time to become Safe Operator Instructors and to learn to TAKE SAFETY AND RESPONSIBLE RIDING TO THE SNOW. We are proud of the hundreds of Patrol Leaders and Patrol members who regularly donate their time so that our sport can be enjoyed more safely and responsibly. Contact your snowmobile club or the BCSF to find out more about arranging a Safe Operators Course for your friends and new snowmobilers.