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A grazier on a cattle station near Teemburra Dam is lucky to be alive after he was attacked by a mickey or wild bull on the weekend . He was seriously injured after being gored by the unbranded bull whilst working on his property. Unable to drive himself to medical care, he activated his PLB.
Authorities responded quickly. After determining the grazier was working alone on the property, the CQ Rescue helicopter was immediately tasked to locate the grazier by homing the signal from the PLB or beacon. A doctor and paramedic on-board the helicopter provided emergency care on scene before the man was airlifted to Mackay Base Hospital.
Police praised the actions of the injured man. His quick thinking enabled the rescue helicopter to promptly locate him and provide first class medical care. It almost certainly saved his life.
A PLB is something all people who work remotely or in areas of poor mobile phone coverage should consider carrying. Many companies already mandate such a device for their employees. You may never need to use it, but you can be assured that if you do, help will be on its way.
To work out the best remote communication plan for you, check out Save Our Selves – A guide to getting help in remote areas.
Yesterday 46 people had a lucky escape after the tourist boat they were on caught fire and they were forced to abandon the vessel into life-rafts. The ‘Spirit of 1770’ was en route from Lady Musgrave Island back to the Town of 1770 when an engine alarm went off. The crew investigated and that is when it slowly became apparent that all was not well in the engine space. The boat was on fire, and suddenly all 46 souls on board were at serious risk of being seriously injured or dying in the next few hours.
We say they had a lucky escape. But did they really?
The Master made sure that everyone was mustered on the bow, whilst the crew investigated and attempted to put out the fire. When it became apparent that they couldn’t contain the fire, the Master ordered the crew to deploy the life rafts and abandon the vessel. This was done in an orderly manner, once the rafts were deployed into the water.
As passenger Karl Burton described, many people could not swim. They had to jump from the vessel into the water and then climb into the raft. Many people who were in the water realised that it is very difficult to climb into an inflatable life raft from the water. The crew took charge, but it was a team effort to get everyone on board the life rafts.
With 46 people now cold and wet inside two life rafts, their situation was still very marginal. Darkness was approaching, and whilst search and rescue authorities were notified and volunteer rescue boats were on their way, there are not many volunteer rescue boats in Australia capable of embarking 46 survivors. It was a race against time to get enough boats on scene to rescue everyone.
The survivors were in the life rafts for a couple of hours before help was on scene. There is nothing more uncomfortable than sitting in a cold wet rubber life raft for an indeterminate period. Many people were sea sick, and this would have added to the misery in the raft. But help did come, from volunteer rescue boats, water police and good samaritans.
Thankfully everyone was eventually brought ashore by a flotilla of rescue craft. Queensland Ambulance set up a triage reception centre at Town of 1770, and 19 people were treated for minor conditions including dehydration and exposure. The community of 1770 also rallied, with many businesses staying open late to provide something to eat and a warm blanket to the survivors.
It could have been a lot worse, but the Master made a decisive decision early on to abandon the vessel. This allowed the passengers to evacuate to life-rafts in an orderly and controlled manner. The crew did an excellent job in ensuring all passengers were accounted for at all times. The Water Police and Volunteer Marine Rescue responded promptly and ensured that the rescue was coordinated and controlled. The Queensland Ambulance provided facilities to receive the survivors and treat any injuries. It was a team effort all around. They made their own luck.
More can be found at the following links:
Emergency EPIRBs or beacons are not just for when you’re injured.
Last Sunday, the Bundaberg RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopter recovered two men from Fraser Island. The pair were aged 25 and 26 and were experienced hikers. They hadn’t twisted an ankle or been bitten by a snake. But they needed help, and their distress beacon was the quickest way to get the help they needed.
One of the hikers fell ill during their hike. The pair rested overnight to see if he improved. Unfortunately his condition worsened overnight, and they made the agonising decision to turn on their beacon.
The beacon was detected by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority shortly before lunch on Sunday. The helicopter responded and located the hikers in dense bush-land about 10 kilometres north of Lake Wabby. A paramedic and air crewman was winched down to the pair. They then extracted the ill hiker and transferred him to Hervey Bay Hospital for treatment.
It was a good outcome. They were well prepared for their hike, but were unable to continue. They made the right decision.
For more information on which beacon is best for you, check out Save Our Selves – A guide for getting help in remote areas
Read the article here: http://www.gladstoneobserver.com.au/news/hikers-winched-safety-fraser-island/3020313/
With modern satellite guidance, enabling us to pinpoint our position on the earth to within metres, people are still getting lost on regular bushwalks nearly every day.
Many bushwalks are well signposted, but occasionally signs can be damaged or missing. In less travelled areas, wallaby or kangaroo tracks can be more frequented than the path. These wildlife tracks make it hard to see the actual trail, meaning it is easy to stray from the marked trail without even realising it.
And occasionally you don’t realise you are on the wrong track for quite some time.
And if you lose too much time or become lost, your short walk can become a battle for life and death.
A couple of simple precautions can really make a difference – especially for day walks. You should consider carrying a day pack with the following items in it:
- a first aid kit, especially a compression bandage for snake bites
- a space blanket for emergency shelter
- a whistle for attracting attention – it is less tiring to blow than yell and the sound travels further
- a map of the area – or take a photo of the trail map on your fully charged phone
- some extra water / water purification tablets
- a distress alerting device such as a PLB (personal locator beacon).
If you’re planning more remote or less travelled tracks, then in addition to the above, Sergent Steane of the Tasmanian Police recently advised:
“If you’re going to those more minor routes, do your homework, make sure you’re experienced for it, get your maps. Certainly make sure you’re fit enough, do some warm-up walks.”
Hiking is fun, and a wonderful way to see some fantastic parts of Australia, hidden from those who demand road access and a kiosk/cafe in the car-park. Just make sure you take some simple precautions to have a safe and enjoyable time in the great outdoors.
For more information on what distress alerting device would suit your needs, download Save Our Selves – a guide for getting help in remote areas.
Whilst the recent snow falls in Tasmania were spectacularly beautiful, for one hiker on the Overland Track, the snow proved to be an impassable barrier. Despite repeated attempts over four days, the 44 year old Hobart man was unable to leave Kia Ora Hut due to deep snow drifts.
The man had rationed his food supply, and was uninjured. He had appropriate clothing for the weather, and was even carrying snow shoes. Distress Beacons are to be used in life and death situations. Surely the hiker should have waited a few more days for the snow to melt before continuing on his journey.
So why did Police praise the man for doing the right thing and turning on his distress beacon?
The man was due to complete his trek, and he knew that if he failed to arrive, a search would be organised for him over the entire length of the track. By turning on his beacon, he knew that rescuers would be able to proceed directly to his location, effectively taking the ‘search’ out of ‘search and rescue’.
It was the right thing to do.
More information on which distress beacon you need can be found in Save Our Selves – a guide to getting help in remote areas
The full story including a video of the rescue can be found here: http://www.themercury.com.au