Three people rescued in 10 days from Larapinta Trail

Wednesday 3 June 2015
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is encouraging hikers heading out on the Northern Territory’s Larapinta Trail to ensure they are well prepared for the challenging conditions after three rescues in the past 10 days.
Media Release

Since 26 May, AMSA has coordinated the rescue of three people after they became injured or suffered from dehydration while on the Northern Territory’s Larapinta Trail.

In the latest rescue yesterday, AMSA coordinated the rescue of a woman after she fell and fractured several ribs.

The woman was travelling with a group who activated a distress beacon. AMSA Search and Rescue detected the beacon and tasked Alice Springs Helicopters to respond.

The woman was airlifted to Alice Springs Hospital.

On 30 May, AMSA also detected a distress beacon. A man was located with serious hand injuries and also transported to hospital by Alice Springs Helicopters.

Four days earlier on 26 May, AMSA also tasked Alice Springs Helicopter to respond after detecting an emergency beacon. A man was located suffering from dehydration and transported to hospital.

AMSA spokeswoman Lisa Martin said carrying a distress beacon in remote areas such as the Larapinta Trail was essential and it was great to see each of these bushwalkers had headed out well prepared with a beacon.

“Having an emergency beacon is essential in remote areas due to distances and the lack of mobile reception. AMSA encourages people to carry a GPS 406MHz Personal Locator Beacon in remote areas to ensure an efficient response,” Ms Martin said.

When a distress beacon is activated, its signal is detected by satellite which sends an alert to AMSA. AMSA Search and Rescue will then task assets to respond.

The 223-kilometre Larapinta Trail is challenging and people must ensure they plan well for the trail.

“Anyone heading out on the trail needs to have appropriate maps and supplies, such as adequate food and water as there are long stretches without any amenities, as well as warm clothing.

AMSA also encourages people to travel in pairs or groups, and register their departure.

“It’s also a good idea to carry a satellite phone,” Ms Martin said.