GME PLB Aids in the Rescue of Bushwalker

A GME Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) was used in the rescue of a bushwalker after they experienced a medical episode whilst bushwalking through the Blue Mountains National Park in New South Wales.

Mr Collins (59) embarked on the 47-kilometre Kanangra to Katoomba (also known as K2K) wilderness walk in March of this year. The multi-day walk is one of the spectacular longer walks in the southern Blue Mountains but is known to be tough and challenging for those who are unprepared. Mr Collins, an experienced walker, prepared with all the right equipment for such a track, including water, navigation equipment and a PLB amongst other items.

After a successful first day, he started to struggle with impenetrable bush, thick vines and drinking more water than estimated as he battled the extreme conditions on the second day. After sleeping on a slope for the second night, he woke early and headed down to the Coxs River to rehydrate but quickly realised he was in serious trouble as his body completely rejected any water and painful cramps ensued. With his body seizing up Mr Collins opted to activate his PLB as a call for assistance, firmly believing he could not self-evacuate. This activation was quickly received by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) in Australia who tasked a rescue helicopter to attend the scene.

A helicopter rescue team arrived shortly after and provided Mr Collins with medical assistance before airlifting him to Katoomba Hospital where he was hospitalised for 5-days with acute renal failure, but eventually made a full recovery.

This rescue serves to remind us how important it is to carry a PLB and ensure that your registration details are up to date before heading out on a bushwalk, as accidents can happen at any time.

For more information on our range of emergency beacons click here.