On 22 July 2020 Tasmania Police and SES responded to two separate calls for assistance from bushwalkers in the north of the state.
Walls of Jerusalem National Park – At approximately 5.30pm Tasmania Police were notified by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in Canberra of an EPIRB activation; the EPIRB was registered in the name of the walker, a 39 year old female from Turners Beach. A short time after this the Next of Kin for the walker also contacted Tasmania Police to report her overdue.
The Westpac rescue helicopter was activated and located the walker, winching her on board without incident. The bush walker had become unwell and had activated her EPIRB after losing the track in the dense bush. The walker was experienced, well equipped and had notified NOK of her intended walking area and expected return time. These details and the registration of her EPIRB greatly assisted police to successfully and quickly locate her and rescue her from her situation.
Mount Victoria – At approximately 5.15pm Tasmania Police were contacted by a male walker who had been walking to the summit of Mount Victoria, in the North East of the state. A man from Victoria who has been residing in Tasmania for the last 4 months had become separated from his friend and could not find the track he was walking on. The man’s mobile telephone battery subsequently went flat and police were unable to communicate with him.
Police, SES Search and Rescue and the Westpac rescue helicopter all attended the Mount Victoria track, locating the walker’s friend. At approximately 10pm the man was located by the Westpac rescue helicopter and winched on board, he was reunited with his friend without incident.
Senior Sergeant Justin Bidgood would like to remind bushwalkers of the need to be well prepared, carrying adequate clothing for all weather conditions, food and water and advise someone of where you intend to walk and what time you expect to return. Mobile telephone coverage in Tasmania shouldn’t be relied on, however walkers should ensure their phone has adequate charge and walkers are encouraged to carry an EPIRB or Personal Locator Beacon which is registered with AMSA for use in emergency situations.