Back to top

S.O.S. distress signals to be used only in emergency situations — Trail RCMP

A Nelson woman said she was trying to signal the Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue or City of Trail to attend the residence to help her clear snow off the driveway.

Trail RCMP would like to advise the public not to use S.O.S. distress signals for minor incidents after a Nelson woman became stranded inside a residence in the Silver City due to the unplowed driveway.

RCMP said on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, at 11:13 p.m. police received a report of a light flashing a S.O.S. distress signal from Lookout Street, in Trail.

Trail RCMP said a 41-year-old Trail woman noticed the S.O.S. distress signal and reported it to the RCMP.

The Trail woman was able to guide the police to the source of the signal coming from a residence on Lookout Street.

After officers hiked through the deep snow of a long, unplowed driveway to arrive at the residence, they spoke to and confirmed that the signaler, a 37-year-old Nelson woman, was in good health but requested assistance due to the unplowed driveway.

“The Nelson woman said she was trying to signal the Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue or City of Trail to attend the residence to help her clear snow off the driveway,” Trail RCMP said.

“S.O.S. (three dots/three dashes/three dots) is an international Morse code distress signal can stand for Save Our Souls or Save Our Ship,” Trail Sgt. Mike Wicentowich said.

“We ask the public to only used it in emergency situations. Trail RCMP would like to thank the 41-year-old Trail woman for contacting and guiding us to the distress signal with surprising accuracy. The attending officers were impressed with her ability to interpret the signal and help us quickly find the location.”

Trail RCMP provided the 37-year-old Nelson woman with guidance on how to get the driveway cleared of snow and warned her not to use SOS in this kind of situation.