Sure, people get lost or need rescue in Whatcom County. Is it happening more often?

If it seems Whatcom County search and rescue teams were busy in 2017, they were — very busy.

According to statistics released by the State of Washington Search and Rescue Volunteer Advisory Council, there were 53 search and rescue missions in Whatcom County in 2017 — the fourth most for any county in Washington state behind only King (233), Snohomish (137) and Pierce (66). Nearby Skagit County rounded out the top five with 47 search and rescue missions.

The 53 missions in Whatcom County in 2017 is a 17.8 percent increase from the 45 in 2016 and the county's highest total for data available back to 2010.

Since 2010, there have been 291 missions in Whatcom County, ranking eighth in Washington, behind King (1,189), Snohomish (780), Pierce (404), Skagit (348), Skamania (315), Yakima (299) and Chelan (296) counties.

Statewide, search and rescue missions were up 12.4 percent from 896 in 2016 to 1,007 in 2017 — the highest total for data available back to 2010.

Through May, there were already 347 search and rescue missions in the state in 2018, slightly ahead of the 2017 pace of 330 through May.

In a June 18 Facebook post, Whatcom County-based Summit to Sound Search and Rescue said it is involved in the search for Cornelius "Casey" Zippro, the 31-year-old Seattle man missing since June 16 in North Cascades National Park since near Diablo Lake. The Whatcom Sheriff's Office also is assisting the National Park Service in the search.

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