Rescue services matter for mountaineers

Menon. Shyam G. (January 16, 2012). Mountain rescue? Run, walk and wait- 20 years on, tale of red tape and reluctant insurers. The Telegraph, Calcutta, India.

This article reviewed existing search and rescue system in the Indian Himalaya. The author highlighted the following problems that slowed down rescue process and made it difficult:


  • During an accident, contacting the authorized search and rescue provider, the Indian Army and / or Air Force, is a time consuming process, especially in case of foreign mountaineers. Because the accident information passes through five contact points: the tour operator, the insurance company, the embassy, the External Affairs Ministry (India) and the Defense Ministry (India). Then, the Defense Ministry advises the Indian Army or Air Force units located close to the accident site to conduct rescue operations.
  • Weather, which is especially unpredictable at high altitude, plays crucial rule in the rescue sorties.
  • Even maps of the Himalayaare not easily available due to security concerns.
  • To speed up the rescue operations, the system has provision for the latest technology, including satellite phones and global positioning systems (GPS). However, in the past, visitors have misused satellite phones and GPS. The government therefore enacted stricter laws covering these effective, fast communication channels in interest of national security.
  • In India, private insurance companies do not offer insurance for adventure sports.

Thus, a quick, dedicated search and rescue system is required for the safety of growing number of visitors to the region, where telecom and road networks have been improved. Read the full article and understand the nitty-gritty of the search rescue system for adventure tourism.

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