main

Archive | Bushwalking safety

Paddle NSW Training

Paddle NSW is currently offering Flatwater Leadership skills training with reduced prices for successful applicants!

The Paddle NSW Flatwater Leadership Course is being held on March 28-29 at Lake Parramatta, Sydney and on 4 April in Dubbo Central Western NSW. This two day training course is sufficient for a teacher or Sport & Recreation leader to take kids out on flat water so extensive.

The Dubbo course is heavily subsidised and costs only $150 per participant!

Click here to register for both courses.

Paddle NSW can also design tailored courses for 6 to 8 people in locations across NSW to upskill club members in basic whitewater skills or to upskill club paddle leaders. Contact Paddle NSW here for more information.

Contacting Emergency Services

with the Emergency+ smart phone app

Some advice to consider regarding contacting Emergency Services from an experienced bushwalker and engineer.

The Emergency+ app is highly recommended for bushwalkers. It lists all the important emergency phone numbers – 000 (triple zero) of course; but also, the SES, Police assistance line, poisons information and many others. It also has a simple clear display of your location as a latitude/longitude which can identify your position anywhere in the world, which is of course important for bushwalkers as the usual “street and nearest cross street” location is not useful in the bush.

But there are some limitations and misconceptions about the Emergency+ app you should be aware of.​

​Firstly, in an emergency, if you dial 000 (triple zero) using the Emergency+ app it is no different to dialling 000 from a normal phone. It does not send any special information and it does not send your position to the 000 operator. You will still have to tell the operator your position, and that can be the GPS coordinates from the Emergency+ app if that is the best way to do it. On the Emergency+ app it gives your GPS coordinates in a box titled “Tell the operator your location” – you have to tell the operator your position as the operator cannot read it from the phone directly.​

​Secondly, the Emergency+ app uses the GPS (or GNSS system to be more precise) in your phone to get your position. If the GPS is having difficulty in getting a position – maybe you are in a damp area, under a thick tree canopy or near cliffs – then the GPS will return the last position it got a fix on the position until a new fix is determined. This old fix could be anywhere you have been recently; maybe at home before you left, maybe on the drive to the start of your walk; but this fix will be displayed until a new fix is determined. The old fix could be wrong by kilometres, or even in the wrong country if you have just done an international flight!​

​To make sure the location fix it is displaying is a current fix and not an old fix there are two things to look at. The simplest is the little map next to the position. Check the maps shown is correct for where you are. But as this is a street map it is not very helpful in remote areas as there might not be any streets nearby so nothing will be shown.

Page 2 or “+” page of app

A better way to check your fix is a current one is to go to the second page of the Emergency+ app (the “+” with a circle around it on the top or bottom bar) and in the red box at the bottom it says “GPS COORDINATES (Address updated XX secs ago)”. Make sure your address has been updated in the time you have been at your current location, and preferably only a few seconds ago. If it shows that your address has only been updated hours or days ago you should be cautious that the position it will display will be an old position which could be miles away.

 

Finally, remember that the position displayed on the Emergency+ app is just one way to give your position. If you know your position as a grid reference from a map, another GPS, a street address or even some nearby landmark then feel free to use that to give your position to the 000 operator. Speak slowly but remember that all calls to 000 are recorded. Any position reference is acceptable, just make sure it is accurate.

Get the Emergency+ App here now

Adapting to climate change

Our changing climate is bringing new risks which bushwalkers and outdoor adventure enthusiasts should keep in mind whenever planning trips, and whenever we head out on our adventures.

This page gives a quick summary of what to consider. Click through to the relevant authority for detailed information, alerts and to subscribe to alerts and news from each authority.

Extreme weather

The consequences of our changing weather are:

  • More National Park/State Forest/etc closures + more track closures – due to:
    • Threat of fire
    • Damage from fire/flood making tracks unsafe and/or impassable
  • Dehydration & heat stroke of greater concern in hot summer days
  • Increased chance of flooding
  • Poor air quality making prolonged exercise inadvisable (see below)
  • A new Fire Danger Rating

That is why it is important for you to check conditions before you head out. Also monitor conditions for rapid changes. For example, on high fire danger periods/days, or during extreme rainfall, etc.

Avoid remote areas during bushfire conditions. Look at the forward forecast fire ratings and weather before multi-day trips and err on the side of caution.

National Parks closed and damaged by fire

Air quality & health

Air pollutants, including smoke from bush fires, can be harmful to our health and so check air quality forecasts before you head out.

NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment states that we should all reduce heavy or prolonged exercise when the Air Quality Index (AQI) is >150.

However, The Climate and Health Alliance have now declared: “There is no safe level of air pollution. The higher the level of pollution, the more hazardous the risks to health. Bushfire smoke is particularly hazardous because of the high levels of tiny particles (PM2.5).”

You can check the current and forecast air quality here: https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/aqms/aqi.htm

And find out what the AQI colours mean for your activity here:

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/air/Pages/aqi.aspx

Leaders should cancel activities to areas likely to be affected by poor air quality.

Fire Ratings

Note that a new Bush Fire Danger Rating exists called “Catastrophic”. If a Catastrophic warning is issued when and where you are planing to be in the bush, you should cancel your planned activities and move to a place of safety.

A “Catastrophic” rating may be issued in advance so always check the forecast if you are planning/heading out to a multi-day activity.

The current RFS advice for what you should do if the Bush Fire Danger Rating is “Catastrophic” is:

  • For your survival, leaving [the area to be affected] early is the only option.
  • Leave bush fire prone areas the night before or early in the day – do not just wait and see what happens.
  • Make a decision about when you will leave, where you will go, how you will get there and when you will return.
  • Homes are not designed to withstand fires in catastrophic conditions so you should leave early.

See the RFS for full details of Bush Fire Danger Ratings including “Catastrophic”: http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/fdr-and-tobans?a=1421

Learn more about Bush Fire Danger Ratings and Total Fire Bans here: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/fdr-and-tobans

Fire damage

Every time you head out – check:

To manage these hazards always check before you head out:

Hot Spots

These new tools may indicate fire activity, however the site creators say they are “not to be used for safety of life decisions. For local updates and alerts, please refer to your state emergency or fire service.”

Always remember, that this information is only as updated when a satellite passes over the location you are viewing. IE: not that often.

https://firewatch-pro.landgate.wa.gov.au/ (seems to be more current just from our casual observation)

https://hotspots.dea.ga.gov.au/

Alerts

  • Bushwalking NSW does not pass on alerts. Instead, we recommend you sign up for alerts directly with the relevant authority
  • Bushwalking NSW periodically remind our newsletter subscribers that people and clubs should check for alerts:
    • In anticipation for activities
    • Before they head out
  • Sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of this page and here

Subscribe to updates

  • We encourage all people engaged in outdoor adventure to sign up to receive alerts from the relevant authorities.

Clubs

  • We suggest clubs consider how they are communicating with their members when conditions become hazardous or extreme.

 

We hope this brief guide helps you all to continue to enjoy safe and successful outdoor adventure in our beautiful natural places!

A bushwalker’s two day crawl before rescue

In kindly and candidly sharing a very painful and harrowing ordeal, a club leader has given us some important points to reflect upon. Every time we head out.

In mid-September, Neil Parker (54), an experienced leader for Brisbane Bushwalkers, was conducting a solo recce (reconnaissance walk) of Cabbage Tree Creek near Brisbane, Queensland.

While alone, Neil fell down a 6-metre waterfall, fracturing both his leg and wrist. He then crawled for two days, to reach a clearing, in the hope of a search team finding him. Excruciating.

He did not have a PLB*, and did not leave trip intentions.

It is rare, but sometimes things go wrong.

This article describes the incident: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-18/mt-nebo-bushwalker-crawls-to-safety-after-fracturing-leg-wrist/11522794

Neil’s personal account is well worth a listen:

https://www.facebook.com/ABCSunshineCoast/videos/2434513696831834/

We encourage you to reflect on Neil’s experiences.

 

Some of our reflections are:

  • Take a PLB*, especially when going solo. Even for short walks. Register it with AMSA.
  • Always Leave Trip Intentions with a reliable person.
    • That means telling someone your detailed trip plans, and when you are due to return. Plus it means that person calling the police if you haven’t returned at the time you said you would. Always call your responsible person on your safe return.
  • Neil is saying the right things in his interview so he is clearly very knowledgeable and experienced. This helped him save himself. So:
    • Join a bushwalking club to learn a wealth of invaluable knowledge and experience in all kinds of adventure. For a very low cost! Have a great time discovering new places. and new types of adventure activities.
  • Neil didn’t panic and had a good first aid kit.
    • He could have also included a sam splint in his kit – it is a much better for dealing with a fracture than walking poles or tree branches.
  • Neil demonstrates how important it is to take first aid kits seriously and keep them well-stocked. Even for a short, familiar walk.
  • Neil took warm clothes and a space blanket on a short, local walk, in a warm climate. And needed them.
    • Consider also a cashmere beanie – superb warmth-to-weight ratio.
    • The space blanket kept him warm and could help rescuers see him.
    • Regularly replace your space blanket – they can de-laminate over time.
  • Neil also took a head torch, his mobile phone and energy-packed snacks. He needed all of these too.

 

If you haven’t watched it yet, do watch Neil’s personal account:

https://www.facebook.com/ABCSunshineCoast/videos/2434513696831834/

Pass it on

All outdoor adventures can benefit from Neil Parker’s experience, so please pass this onto them.

For Clubs

We’d also recommend that club committees devote some time to discussing Neil Parker’s experience and insights, and the implications for each club’s risk management.

We advise all club members to put all exploratory (recce) trips on their activities program. This is the minimum requirement for an activity to be covered by our Bushwalking Australia Insurance.

We also recommend all clubs have: (1) a way of recording trip intentions for all activities, (2) a way of checking that all participants have returned from their activities when they said they would, and (3) a person who will call the police if a person/party haven’t returned when they said they would.

 

We wish you all the best out there. And we wish Neil Parker a rapid and full recovery.

 

*PLB = Personal Locator Beacon

Change in search and rescue over time

The history of Bush Search and Rescue NSW (BSAR) shows how remote area search and rescue in NSW has changed since 1936 when it was established as the “Search and Rescue Section of the NSW Federation of Bushwalking Clubs” (S&R).  In 1936 a team of bushwalkers informally assisted NSW Police in the search for four young men missing in the Grose Valley.  After this search Paddy Pallin, among others, approached NSW Police to formalise arrangements to assist NSW Police in the future.

The model of BSAR has always been to use bushwalkers skilled in remote area navigation to travel independently in National Park type country to aid NSW Police as required.  Mostly, BSAR has been involved in searching for missing persons.

The first “Director” of S&R was Paddy Pallin (founder of the well-known bushwalking shop).

In these early days a telephone tree was used to contact bushwalkers as required.  The S&R Committee would contact a particular “Club Phone Contact” to ‘callout’ club members.  In the very early days search teams would travel by train to an incident.

Sgt Ray Tyson of NSW Police Rescue Squad would often rely on S&R Secretary, Heather White (1959 – 1975) who he thought had an uncanny knowledge of the Blue Mountains.

The “Field Officer” is in control of S&R field operations.  Ninian Melville was appointed as S&R Field Officer in 1961 and replaced Paddy as Director in 1970.  Also, in May 1970 S&R joined the  Volunteer Rescue Association of NSW (VRA) at their first Mid-Year Conference.

HF radio was introduced to S&R by Bob Mead during the 1960’s.  Dick Smith, then a member of Sydney Bush Walkers, assisted in the purchase of the first generation of AM field radios.  In 1979 the second generation of field radios moved to FM SSB.  The ‘QMac’ fourth generation of field radio has given outstanding service for many years as smaller, lighter and more powerful than all previous radios.  BSAR now uses a mix of VHF / UHF radios with these HF radios.

Robert Pallin, son of Paddy took over as Director in October 1971 when Ninian stood down.  Vertical rescue for S&R at this time was done by members of the Sydney Rock Climbing Club (SRC) with Fergus Bell was the “Rock Rescue Officer”.

Fergus Bell worked closely with Robert until he became Director in September 1980. Later, in July 1984 the author moved from Field Officer to Director.

NavShield was set up in 1989 by Secretary, John Tonitto (1987 – 2012) so 2018 was the 30th NavShield.

A major change occurred in 2001 when S&R became a fixed membership squad since it was no longer acceptable to ‘just’ callout club bushwalkers.  S&R incorporated as “Bushwalkers Wilderness Rescue Squad” (BWRS – later to become BSAR) to formalise its training and member skills through CBT (Competency Based Training).  BWRS separated from “Federation” with the author its first President.

Overtime, remote area search and rescue has changed further.  In 2018, after much consideration, BSAR reluctantly left the VRA and moved to NSW SES (from 1 May) as a better place to fulfil this role.

Within SES the most senior person in SES BSAR now is its Controller, currently Paul Campbell-Allen.

Since 1936 BSAR has been involved in many incidents occasionally multiday.  Some high profile searches have included an injured person below Narrow Neck, near Katoomba (1949), schoolgirls Monica Schofield (1963) & Vicki Barton (1969), Scout Leader lost in the flooded Shoalhaven River (1977), Trudie Adams (1978 – see 2018 ABC TV investigation), three young men lost in Kangaroo Valley (1987), lost plane and pilots at Kanangra Walls (1993), lost plane in Barrington Tops (1981; an ongoing mystery), David Iredale, near Mt Solitary of the Blue Mtns (2006), deceased person on Mt Cloudmaker (2007 – see VRA Journal Volume 2.3) and Sevak Simonian at Kanangra Walls (2014)

Technology has improved outdoors safety.  The latest field radios can give continuous GPS location of BSAR search teams.  Mobile phones now have better coverage and distress beacons (PLB and EPIRB) can send an emergency signal far more quickly for a person in distress.  However, many people don’t have access to these devices which are yet to be 100% effective.   Experienced ground searchers like SES BSAR are still essential.

Further history of BSAR can be found in a Google drive folder at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1cSOMp9zsdYCFG7qbtHrrSQ2-i36U64Pz

Keith Maxwell

President BSAR

Battery Testing for torches

Should a small battery tester be considered an essential item of bushwalking equipment?  Modern LED torches just keep getting better and better.  Battery technology has also gone forward in leaps and bounds with various types that seem to last forever and ever – “best before 20xx”.

My first bushwalking torches used incandescent light bulbs that were miniature versions of house light globes.  Like house globes, torch globes had a limited life span so the folklore was always to carry a spare globe.  But LED lights are so much brighter from a lamp with an almost infinite life span plus they keep getting better and better.  A little while ago the switch on a 100 Lumen head torch failed.  The replacement torch under warranty was 160 Lumens.  Same model just a few months apart.

Our early torch batteries were the ‘red’ carbon batteries.  The Zinc case formed part of the electrical reaction.  They would self-discharge in a short time (go flat) often leaving a corrosive mess.  The batteries were not very powerful so torches had to be big to hold “C” or “D” (large batteries).  Now, alkaline “AA” and “AAA” batteries can be purchased in multi packs.  Even better types of battery are available or your choice of rechargeable battery.

Thus, it is easy to keep a light, compact, bright headlight torch that uses small “AAA” batteries at the bottom of the day pack ‘just in case’ – no wandering in the dark from an unexpected delay.

However, since batteries last so long it is easy to forget to check them.  Most LED torches have a system of still giving out light as the batteries progressively fail.  Corrosion can still eventually happen.  So, you turn on your torch in a bright room and you have light but how good is it really?

Such a torch let us down recently at a disused, open access railway tunnel at Helensburgh.  This amazing long single-track tunnel was brick lined for reinforcement.  The current double track railway through the mountainous terrain has by passed this tunnel.  It was dark enough to have impressive glow worms.

Fortunately, a dud torch was not a problem as our group had all taken spare torches.  Later at home, I found corrosion had started on one battery.  My battery tester indicated that the other batteries were also on the way out.

When did you last properly check your emergency torch?  Importantly, when will be your next check?  Over time I have seen a range of different battery testers with one thing in common.  They were all cheap.  There is no reason not to have a battery tester so you can be sure your emergency torch won’t let you down.

Keith Maxwell.

Be extra snake aware this summer

The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) of 31 December 2018 has a worrying report of two deaths from Tiger Snake bite.  Antivenom was administered but it would seem that the dose was insufficient to counteract the snake venom.  The SMH article suggests that there may be disagreement within the medical profession regarding the guidelines for the correct dose of antivenom; just how much antivenom is an  appropriate dose of the latest type of antivenom.  However, there is a call for more research in this matter that has been echoed by the Victorian Coroner.

Any snake bite victim needs to seen promptly by medical services.  Despite this SMH report death from snake bite is now rare with modern antivenom.

Now since snakes are more likely to be active in the recent warm weather bushwalkers need to be more vigilant than usual and consider protective measures such as wearing gaiters or long trousers.  As always, it is better to never get bitten but never forget your First Aid training for the treatment of snake bite.  The necessary broad bandage needs to be easily accessible such as near the top of your rucksack.

A recent post from the Royal Flying Doctor at https://www.flyingdoctor.org.au/news/flying-doctor-issues-new-snakebite-advice/ contains excellent advise for treatment of snake bite.

Keith Maxwell.

Bushwalkers help in cold case

Teenager, Trudie Adams went missing in 1978 while hitch hiking home in the Northern Beaches area.  Bush Search and Rescue NSW (BSAR) took part in the subsequent NSW Police investigation of this disappearance.

On Tuesday evening 30 October ABC TV aired a program on missing person, Trudie Adams.  At that time none of our members wore any style of uniform, even the Committee.  So Bushwalkers Search and Rescue (full name then was the ‘Search and Rescue Section of the NSW Federation of Bushwalking Clubs’ now BSAR) was often just mentioned as among the ‘volunteers’.  The TV program aired a lot of archival news footage but nothing of BSAR members.  The NSW Police uniform was very different to now.

BSAR rescheduled a training weekend for the search.  Walkers went home each night.  Sunday morning had a particularly fierce frost.  The area was very different to now.  An oval (now gone) at the junction of Mona Vale Road and the Forest Way was the search command base.  Mona Vale Road was just one lane each way except for a long slip lane from the Forest Way towards Mona Vale.

Long stretches either side of Mona Vale were searched.  Among the ‘finds’ was a pile of Playboy magazines.  We could only guess why they were dumped; upcoming marriage?  A dank pool of water was bubbling.  This was from something dead but a pig not a person.  Equally, the Police were interested in a mound from a small grave but it was that of a dog.  Other tracks in the immediate area were also searched.  On Sunday, one searcher noticed a garbage bag under a tree.  The Police got very excited when it turned out to be a sawn off shot gun!  It was promptly collected by the relevant Police Squad.

Later, the family of Trudie Adams sent a hand written thank you note to BSAR.

The past is always another country, especially 1978.  BSAR still had their basic first generation field radio – AM HF.  There are two more TV programs to come about this unsolved disappearance.  Pre program promotion suggests that a murky time of Police corruption may be investigated in the next two weeks.

BSAR Update

BUSH SEARCH AND RESCUE NSW Inc.

Keith Maxwell – President BSAR

Bush Search and Rescue NSW (BSAR) was founded as the self-help and self-contained “Search and Rescue Section” of the NSW Federation of Bushwalking Clubs in 1936 by Paddy Pallin plus a number of prominent bushwalkers of that time.  BSAR is held in high regard with NSW Police.  This report can only provide an overview of a very active volunteer rescue group.

 

THE BIG PICTURE.  In April of 2017 Bushwalkers Wilderness Rescue Squad (BWRS) changed its name to BSAR.  BSAR is a specialist remote area bush search and rescue squad affiliated with the NSW Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA). Some other specialist squads of the VRA includes NSW Cave Rescue, Australian Civil Air Patrol (AusCAP) and radio squads WICEN & CREST.  For more information see the VRA website at www.rescue.org.au

 

A YEAR of CHANGE.  After a long period of consultation plus a member vote BSAR has decided to change from affiliation with the VRA to become part of the NSW State Emergency Service (SES).  It is not just that BSAR is now in a stronger financial position.  An equal (major) consideration was the ability to better continue its role as a valuable community resource as a volunteer remote area search and rescue squad.  The volunteer s & r space is changing with changes in volunteering within SES.

 

A full changeover will take time with rebranding of our Rooty Hill building, new vehicles (& sale of VRA branded Toyota and trailer), new equipment, membership induction plus supply of uniforms etc.  Completion of the four stage process will continue into 2018 / 2019.

 

TRAINING.  BSAR has a strong membership and an active training program to assist completion of nationally recognised Competency Based Training (CBT).  CBT will now be progressively aligned to SES requirements.  Like all emergency services BSAR members must quantify their skills through CBT. Operational members are experienced bushwalkers with a mix of additional skills in radio communication, vertical rescue, observation, emergency management, First Aid and other bush search and rescue skills.

 

EQUIPMENT.  This change has given BSAR access to far greater resources and equipment.  A major change for BSAR will be access to “GRN” (Government Radio Network).  In various forms GRN attempts to link communications throughout all NSW government agencies from NP&WS to Police, RFS, NSW Ambulance etc.  Over time BSAR will receive new radios and appropriate training.     BSAR still has its existing, outstanding HF radio network.

 

CALLOUTS.  During the past year BSAR was placed on STANDBY numerous times for incidents (with missing persons) that were quickly resolved.  However, in November 2017 assisted NSW Police at Katoomba to locate and retrieve the body of a visitor from France.  He had fallen over one of the big cliffs in the area.  In May, BSAR assisted in a forensic search near Ingar Picnic Ground, Wentworth Falls then in June BSAR was part of a large search at Mt Ku-ring-gai for a visiting Chinese student to Australia.  More recently the body was located some distance from the search area.

 

NAVSHIELD.  Warm days (but cold nights) made for an enjoyable NavShield 2018 on the last weekend of June.  NavShield is a major bush navigation (map and compass) training event for the Emergency Services and bushwalking club teams.  Renewed publicity within SES refreshed participant numbers to almost 500.  The location was dry woodland of the Macdonald River off the Putty Road.  Bushwalking club teams performed well.  Full details and results are available at the BSAR website – www.bsar.org.au

 

OXFAM TRAILWALKER.  TrailWalker in August each year has grown to become a 100km / 48 hour OR 50km / 24 hour track & fire road walkathon that uses bushland on the northern fringe of Sydney.  BSAR provides first and second safety response teams, over shifts, for this event of around 3,000 participants!!   TrailWalker provides both excellent member training and practice in co-ordination of BSAR teams whilst being involved in community outreach.  See the OXFAM website for route details of this special event – https://trailwalker.oxfam.org.au/sydney/trail/

 

BARRINGTON TOPS.  In September of recent years BSAR has also held a multi-agency training event to continue searching for a Cessna plane lost at night in bad weather of August 1981.  While many planes have failed to successfully fly over Barrington Tops, “VH-MDX” is the only plane whose location remains a mystery.

 

SAFETY ASSISTANCE.  During the year BSAR also provided safety assistance at several outdoors events including the Paddy Pallin Rogaine in June.

 

FIRST AID.  The current version of First Aid training offered by BSAR is very popular.  In 2018 THREE cycles of training will occur instead of the usual two.  Courses in the ONE Day St John Ambulance “Provide First Aid” (formerly known as “Senior First Aid”) OR three day “Remote Area First Aid (RAFA)” fill up quickly.  BSAR offers this training to spread First Aid knowledge generally among bushwalkers.  Training is bushwalker friendly with a volunteer bushwalker instructor plus a discount fee.  Register at the BSAR website.

 

In 2019 Bushwalking NSW will take over access to this First Aid training since BSAR cannot continue this model of instruction within SES.

 

OUTREACH.  BSAR is active through the digital world on its website with detailed information on bush safety, distress beacons, recent callouts and links to other sites such as the NSW Police TREK program of free PLB hire and BNSW (Bushwalking NSW).  BSAR is also active on FaceBook and Twitter.  Eventually, BSAR as part of SES will have to close its website – www.bsar.org.au  All options are being explored to continue digital dissemination of the above information.

 

MEMBERSHIP.  Membership of BSAR remains a valuable ‘fit’ for BNSW bushwalkers keen to volunteer their time in community service. We have tasks big and small to suit all levels of commitment.  Contact the BSAR Secretary at secretary@bsar.org.au

 

CONCLUSION.  BSAR with its great people and diverse events is held in high regard by NSW Police and now the SES for remote area search and rescue.  While it is a very different organisation to that founded in 1936 it is still committed to assisting persons in distress in remote areas.  2018 / 2019 will be a year of change as BSAR fully integrates into SES and explores the opportunities to better serve the community.  Access to GRN will enhance our remote area communications.  NavShield 2018 was a great event.  Other training was very successful. St John Ambulance “Provide First Aid” and “RAFA” courses offered via BSAR are very popular. BSAR is digitally active in encouraging bush safety.

 

 

 

Bushwalkers Search and Rescue

It is time to explore past history of Bushwalkers Search and Rescue via the web.  Search and rescue in NSW has evolved considerably since Bushwalkers Search and Rescue was established in 1936 as the S & R Section of the NSW Federation of Bushwalking Clubs (now Bushwalking NSW).  In the early days radio communication did not exist and helicopters only came into common use during the 1970s.  The files also provide a snap shot of bushwalking history as equipment and knowledge improved so new areas were explored. Newspaper items are featured.

 

NSW Police and Bushwalkers S&R Search Managers at John Keys search 1977

Highlights in this past history include the first search in 1936; major searches for missing school girls during 1960s; the amazing rescue of Dennis Rittson from Kalang Falls in 1970; 1982, three killed in a sudden flash flood of Claustral Canyon; 1993, the search for crew of a plane crash in the Kanangra Boyd area; numerous reports of Barrington Tops searches over many years for a Cessna lost in 1981 plus much much more.

Unfortunately while there are a number of deaths there are far more successful outcomes.

Bushwalkers S & R has also changed as s & r methods have improved so it is now part of NSW SES as Bush Search and Rescue NSW.

Start exploring at the link below.  (Be amazed!)

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1cSOMp9zsdYCFG7qbtHrrSQ2-i36U64Pz?ogsrc=32