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Joint media release: Injured motorbike rider rescued after activating distress beacon

Friday 18 September 2015
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and the Western Australia Police joined forces yesterday afternoon to rescue an injured motorbike rider south west of Kalgoorlie.
Media Release

At 3:30 pm WST Thursday afternoon, 17 September 2015, AMSA Search and Rescue detected a distress beacon approximately 30 kilometres west of Widgiemooltha Roadhouse, near Cave Hill.

AMSA tasked a local aircraft to find the motorbike rider and to report his location to AMSA.

AMSA then tasked its Dornier search and rescue aircraft from Perth as well as a police ground party from Kalgoorlie. The Dornier dropped a satellite phone and radio to the man for communications with the aircraft and the crew guided police to the man’s location. Police rescued the man and he was transported to Kambalda for medical treatment.

The man became lost on some tracks, and was injured when he attempted to turn his motorcycle around. He walked to get assistance, and located the Cave Hill campsite 10 kilometres away. Several hours later he activated his distress beacon to alert authorities. AMSA’s General Manager of Search and Rescue, John Young, said this incident highlighted the importance of carrying a distress beacon in remote areas.

“Given the remoteness of the area and the man’s limited supplies, without a distress beacon, this incident could have turned out very differently,” Mr Young said.

“Having a distress beacon meant the stranded motorbike rider was able to alert authorities to his situation in an area where normal communications are not available.

“The distress beacon led us to the exact location of the man and resulted in a successful rescue,” he said.

A Western Australia Police spokesperson said this was a great example of search and rescue agencies working together with communication between AMSA’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Canberra, the Dornier aircraft, the motorbike rider and police.

“AMSA Search and Rescue and the Dornier crew were able to provide us with accurate information, directing us to the exact location where the man was.”