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