Personal locator beacon ensures quick rescue from southwest wilderness

Police are reiterating the importance of being properly prepared when enjoying Tasmania’s wilderness, after a personal locator beacon (PLB) activation at Port Davey in Tasmania’s far south west last night.

“A 72 year old man was part of a walking group of three walking from Port Davey to Melaleuca when he injured his knee and required medical assistance.

“The bushwalking group was experienced and well prepared with sufficient food, shelter and equipment, including a working PLB, which enabled the man to be quickly located and transported to hospital,” Constable Phil Vanderwal said.

The man was transported to the Royal Hobart Hospital for medical treatment via the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

The remaining two members of the bushwalking group are continuing on their hike to Melaleuca.

“As we get head into summer it’s important for everyone to remember to be prepared, with up-to-date equipment,” said Constable Vanderwal.

“It’s also timely to remember that activating your PLB triggers an immediate response as an emergency situation. People who activate a PLB should also make every effort to be ready, and if possible, signal to rescuers when they arrive.”

Bushwalking Tips:

  • Ensure you’re prepared with appropriate equipment – take a map and torch, clothing and footwear to suit any conditions, regardless of the season take a waterproof jacket; adequate food and water, first aid kit.
  • Research the intended trip – ensure the trip is within your abilities and fitness level, and you have a route plan, map and check the expected weather forecast.
  • Let someone know before you go – ensure someone knows your route and expected return time.
  • Always carry a fully charged mobile phone and a PLB and consider a portable charger to extend battery life.
  • If you are heading out into Tasmania’s wilderness, download the Emergency+ application. This is a free smartphone application that uses GPS functionality to help identify an accurate location in a time of emergency.

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