Police remind bushwalkers to be prepared
Police are reminding people planning on bushwalking, particularly in mountainous areas, to be prepared and aware of potential risks in Tasmanian terrain.
“As we’re approaching the middle of winter, it’s timely to remind people planning on bushwalking to be adequately prepared,” said Inspector Steve Jones from Western Search and Rescue.
Tasmania’s unpredictable weather, including below freezing temperatures, high winds, rain and snow, can make bushwalking treacherous, particularly in the highland areas.
“I urge anyone planning on bushwalking to check the conditions before departing, and if the forecast conditions are poor, delaying the walk until conditions improve,” said Inspector Jones.
“While the Westpac Rescue Helicopter is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and technology, there are occasions where conditions prevent its use, and the need for search parties to be deployed on foot can prolong a rescue.
“Although being well prepared can’t always prevent the inevitable, we’ve previously seen cases where bushwalkers aren’t suitably prepared and end up needing help from rescue services.
“Police and other emergency service providers will always respond to requests for assistance by bushwalkers, however, some rescue missions could have been prevented if people had been better prepared.
“Our search and rescue personnel are highly skilled and trained but they too can be subject to dangerous conditions, as can the volunteer walkers who also offer their assistance during these searches.
“We want everyone to enjoy Tasmania’s wilderness safely.”
- Prior preparation in both equipment and personal fitness. Ensure you have an adequate level of fitness for the bushwalk you intend to undertake; Take appropriate clothing and footwear and regardless of the season take a waterproof jacket; adequate food and water, first aid kit.
- Research the intended trip – maps, guide books, Google earth, expected weather forecasts.
- Let someone know before you go – route, expected return time, equipment etc.
- Prepare emergency plans & escape routes.
- Use of mobile phones and PLBs: A mobile phone may not work in all areas. Personal Location Beacons should be carried as well and used in the case of an emergency. They can be purchased or hired from a number of outlets. When activated the PBL’s can direct rescue teams to the exact location.