Family of bushwalkers rescued, police urge warning – Patonga

A family of bushwalkers have been rescued safely after spending the night outdoors with emergency services personnel on the state’s Central Coast.

The family of two adults and three children – aged 12, 15 and 17 – contacted emergency services about 6.15pm (Sunday 1 September 2019), after becoming stranded on an afternoon bushwalk.

Police have been told the path the group walked along the beach was inaccessible upon returning due to the tide rising. This stranded them atop a cliff with no inland access, in fading light and with limited provisions.

A joint search operation was coordinated involving officers from Brisbane Water Police District, Marine Area Command, PolAir, Fire and Rescue NSW, Rural Fire Service and the Toll NSW Ambulance Rescue Helicopter.

Once the group was located by PolAir, two Fire and Rescue NSW officers and two NSW Ambulance paramedics made their way through dense bushland to access the group and provide resources for the overnight stay.

About 8.30am (Monday 2 September 2019), the family walked to the Patonga boat-ramp with the assistance of emergency services personnel.

The North Ryde family was checked by NSW Ambulance paramedics with no health concerns raised, before being taken back to their vehicle.

Brisbane Water Police District’s Chief Inspector Rodney Peet has praised the combined efforts of emergency services, and urged caution for anyone planning to bushwalk as the weather warms.

“The safe resolution of the overnight operation is testament to the efforts of all emergency personnel involved.

“This is a timely reminder to all those who enjoy the outdoors to plan your trip and know your surroundings before travelling.

“Weather and ocean conditions can change rapidly – make sure your route is safe and will remain safe throughout your trip,” Ch Insp Peet said.

Think before you TREK promotes the benefits of planning ahead for your bushwalking trip by using an easy to remember acronym:

T – Take adequate supplies of food, water, navigation and first aid equipment.

R – Register your planned route and tell friends and family when you expect to return.

E – Emergency beacon (PLB’s) are available free of charge from NSW Police Force and NPWS.

K – Keep to your planned route and follow the map and walking trails.

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