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Heels 1973

Search And Rescue Exercise

page 30

Search And Rescue Exercise

After being transported by Her Majesties Armed Forces transporters we even managed to make Renata Hut on Friday night without getting lost. The exercise was organised by the Hutt Valley Tramping Club in conjunction with Bill Bridge and the Fuzz. Teams were entered from the Hutt Valley, Catholic and Tararua Tramping Clubs, as well as 1 Vuwtc team. The fuzz organised the location of the crashed glider and the 2 survivors. They were in contact with the survivors on a separate radio frequency as well as being able to listen in to the search channel traffic.

On Saturday morning each team was allocated a search area somewhere in the Waitaroru, given a radio and sched times and told to buggar off. The weather was warm and clear.

What Did We Learn?

(a) That covering an area on a general search is difficult, very slow and impossible to cover all allocated territory. Hence, conducting a search in a place covering say, the whole of the Southern Tararuas is incredibly complex.

(b) If you're lost, don't expect to be found immediately - there's a hellava lot of ground even in 1 large rivers watershed. Remember that all main ridges and valleys are checked. Usually, teams are being ferried up and down river valleys so that these are the places to get to.

(c) How to use radio transmitters/receivers.

(d) Leatherwood isn't lovely.

(e) Search controller has a worse job than any field team and the pressure that he is working under has to be born in mind by field party leaders.

(f) Vuwtc should remain in closer contact with other clubs on such matters as Search and Rescue especially since we are the subject of searches. Though I doubt that Search and Rescue would use a team from Vic in a search due to the fluctuating tramping standards inevitable in a club such as ours, I think a hard core of good trampers should be prepared to offer themselves in the case of a search. Teams should also be entered in any Search and Rescue exercises that are conducted.

(g) In the case of a search involving a club trip or member, contact the Chief Guide Only. Don't get lost when you go tramping.