Search and Rescue Goes to Macchu Picchu

Santa Barbara Team Trains Peruvians Around the Ancient City

Santa Barbara and Macchu Pichu search and rescue personnel

Every year, members of the Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue team volunteer to go to Peru to train rescue personnel in and around the ancient city of Macchu Picchu. The Santa Barbara crew just returned from the two-week trip during which they trained 27 members of the Macchu Picchu search and rescue in swiftwater and rope rescue techniques.

Santa Barbara and Macchu Pichu search and rescue personnel train in the Urubamba River

“The sacred city of Macchu Pichu and its surrounding areas are awe-inspiring, but the environment itself can be very dangerous,” said S.B. team member Rick Stein in a statement. “It’s not unlike Santa Barbara with its steep mountains and cliffs, beautiful but potentially dangerous rivers. SBCSAR team members train rigorously in this type of environment.”

The Peruvians were trained in offensive swimming, defensive swimming, shallow-water crossing, live bait, throwbag, and rescue swimming. The training was done in the Urubamba River, which has class IV and V rapids.

Rescue gear was donated by Goleta-based CMC Rescue and REI of Santa Barbara.

“It’s an honor to train the local search and rescue team so that residents and visitors alike can enjoy the outdoors, knowing that first responders can come to their aid,” said Stein.


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