Stay safe this Christmas
THE main issue in spring was the amount of searches we have had to contend with in the last few months.
I won’t go through them all but you may recall the young couple that went off the road down near the Thompson Dam resulting in their deaths.
Just recently I was involved in another search in the Mt Skene/Licola area for another couple that had gone missing, fortunately we had a better outcome and they were found alive and well.
Mansfield police and other units were searching for a missing male in the Mt Buller area with no luck so far.
There have been a number of persons of all ages and creeds that have not made the news throughout the state that, as yet, have not been located that we are still looking for.
Victoria Police and our colleagues involved in emergency searches, full time, part time and volunteers, have expended enormous resources and personnel to try to locate these lost souls without hesitation and as quickly as possible.
I would like to remind people that the High Country is a beautiful and dangerous place for the unprepared.
Please carry enough of your own resources to survive for a few extra days, appropriate clothing for overnight, water food etc.
Always carry maps of the area that you are going into or through, do not rely on electronic devices as your only tool to navigate this area or for rescue.
If you break down stay with your vehicle, use an appropriate Emergency Beacon or EPIRB, carry a portable UHF radio.
Do not rely on vehicle GPS devices to navigate or mobile phones unless they are satellite capable and you have plenty of recharging devices.
I reiterate always carry a reliable map or map book of the area, a compass is always handy.
The most important action of all is to tell loved ones exactly where you are going and planning to be, the route you are going to take.
Notify someone if you are going to deviate from the plan.
If the worst happens these very actions will make it easier for us to locate you and bring you safely home to your loved ones.
Can I add If I had a family member who was inclined towards hiking, bushwalking, 4wdriving, trail bike riding or just going bush I would consider a personal locater or EPIRB (Emergency position-indicating radiobeacon) a cheap Christmas present that will help bring them home to you.
Leading Senior Constable
Ken Dwight, Woods Point Police Station