22 September 2017 03:41 AM
 | 
Partly sunny w/ showers
11°  -  17°
Mercury Bay 5 Day Forecast
Thursday
12° - 19°
Showers
Friday
14° - 19°
Partly sunny w/ showers
Saturday
14° - 18°
Showers
Sunday
11° - 18°
Intermittent clouds
Monday
11° - 17°
Partly sunny w/ showers
Tuesday
11° - 18°
Mostly cloudy w/ showers
Wednesday
10° - 13°
Cloudy
View full weather report at AccuWeather.com
 |  Whitianga Tides Chart

KSAR Column of 11 November

Mercury Bay | Thu November 13, 2014

Details emerging from the recent search in the Rangihau Valley have left many volunteers and Police questioning how some day walkers can go into a challenging environment so unprepared and family so uninformed of intentions. The search, named Operation Bright, involved more than 50 search volunteers from as far as Raglan, Hamilton and Tauranga.

Resources included an Air Force Iroquois helicopter and the police Search and Rescue squad. Coromandel SAR groups from Waihi, Tairua/Pauanui, Thames, Paeroa and Kuaotunu were also involved in the search for the 51 year old Pukekohe man who had informed his wife he was going to the Kauaeranga Valley to look at kauri dams. He was expected home later the same day. The man carried a cell phone and was receiving text messages from family and Police, but ironically he had no idea how to respond to a text message.

Certainly some lessons to be learnt on ensuring the right gear and food is taken on day walks and family are fully informed of intentions.

Four new volunteers, including two Department of Conservation staff, recently joined Kuaotunu Land SAR and we had an introduction training night for them this month. Our First Response members brought along their 24 hour packs jammed full of equipment, clothing and food to ensure they are able to survive on their own in any outdoor environment for up to 24 hours. It’s certainly interesting to see the variation between the gear included in 24 hour packs, but the basic survival items remained similar. Pack weights varied from 16kg to 20kg. Our search teams at a moment’s notice may be airlifted or winched into some really rugged country and need to be well prepared for any challenge or task expected of them.

New (probationary) volunteers need to cover training in first aid, search techniques, tracking, bush survival, navigation, VHF radio communications and convince team leaders of their search and rescue competencies before they can become First Response members. This can take several months or more depending on the amount of effort they are prepared to commit to SAR and previous experience in the outdoors.

We always welcome new members to our group and like any emergency service group there is a serious side to what we do for our communities, but there is a strong emphasis on having fun too. If you don’t enjoy your volunteer work, then why would you commit to time away from your business, workplace, family or friends?

Enjoy your outdoor experiences, go prepared, stay safe and if you do get into difficulty, just stay put.

Steve Hart


Add your comment

Leave Comment
We welcome comments from our readers on any of the features we publish. However, we reserve the right to remove comments that are irrelevant or inappropriate. What it means is this - when you comment, play the ball and not the person. Views expressed in comments do not represent those of The Mercury Bay Informer.

Comments

Top 5 Features

Cathedral Cove Dive and Snorkel
Regular Features

Read the latest Mercury Bay Informer

Browse previous issues



Coastal Carpets and Pest Control Services
Meet our newest residents
The Mercury Bay Informer Guides

Regular Columns & Features

YOU Travel Whitianga
Opinion Poll
""Do you plan to vote differently in this year's general election than in the 2014 election?""
No
44%  (4 of 9 votes)
Yes
56%  (5 of 9 votes)
Vote NoVote Yes
View the poll comments.
Please note this is a public interest poll only and is not screened or censored.

The Frying Scotsman
Hair of the Dog