NSW SES Shoalhaven team wins bush rescue competition

A Shoalhaven team has won the NSW SES Division of NavShield – Australia’s most challenging bush navigation event.

This weekend a combined Nowra -St Georges Basin SES team won the Cliff Harris Memorial Trophy recording the most points by an SES unit in two-day event in rugged bush terrain 180km west of Sydney.

The team were led by NavShield veteran Dave Jones from NSW SES Nowra Unit.

“The course was challenging especially in the freezing conditions, but our resilience and teamwork gave us the competitive edge. It’s incredibly rewarding to achieve this recognition amongst our emergency service peers.

“We’re proud to receive this award named after a much-missed member of our Nowra Unit, Cliff Harris,” says Team Captain Dave Jones.

Now in its 31st year, NavShield was organised by NSW SES Bush Search & Rescue Unit (BSAR). Teams compete in one day or overnight exercises and are equipped with maps and compasses. The winning team reaches the most check points across the 80 square kilometre course in the shortest time. The 2019 course was set in Kanangra-Boyd National Park.

“NavShield is Australia’s premier bush search and rescue training exercise. More than 500 emergency services members from around the country gained important bush navigation skills and improved operational readiness,” says NSW SES Commissioner Kyle Stewart.

Since the beginning of the year, NSW SES has been involved in 450 search and rescue incidents. This includes seven searches (or 1135 hours) by the NSW SES BSAR unit.

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