Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mountain death may have been averted

SYDNEY school student Nicholas Delaney died only hours before a two-day police search located him and his five companions in rugged bushland, but if the group had been carrying a personal locator beacon they could have been found much sooner.
I only heard about this tragic accident today. When I heard the story I got goosebumps.

Perhaps they could have been found sooner had they carried the EPIRB, but they didn't, and it was in the Blue Mountains - and their location should have been reasonably easy to pinpoint as they had let people know where they were.

However, EPIRB disregarded, I'm sure that they would have been found sooner if the volunteer members of the state rescue associations had been asked to assist in the search. These volunteers are available at any time for activities like these. They happily assist in searches of every kind. As a resource they should have been used. The group was missing for more than two days before the volunteer searchers were called out.

I'm sure the NSW Coroner will get to the bottom of this... I'll be interested to read the report.

More reports here.


Pedro the Ignorant said...

The Blue Mountains seem to give people a false sense of security because many of the popular tourist spots are readily accessible by car and bus, most trails are marked, and streams of sightseers are everywhere. But as soon as you get off the marked trails, the Blue Mountains has some of the most inhospitable and dangerous bushland in Australia. It is riddled with ravines, rockfalls, vertical cliff faces, exremely dense bush and changeable weather.
Five kms from the coffee shop at the Three Sisters lookout you could be in almost unexplored wilderness and very easily perish if you are not prepared.

kae said...

Yes, it's amazing country. My point was that had the Sydney and other volunteer rescue teams been called out to search they may have found the group before the injured boy died. He may have been saved. I believe there was a rock slide and he was crushed. They were headed for higher ground thinking that they'd be more easily seen than in the valley.

Aside from no EPIRB, the group was well provisioned.