Search and rescue – Tiwi Islands

A 35-year-old woman who wondered off from her home in Wurrumiyanga on Sunday was located last night following an extensive air, land and sea search.

The woman, who has serious health issues, left her home around 11am Sunday morning. Family reported her missing a few hours later and a land search commenced on Sunday afternoon.

Remote Sergeant Sarah Hutchinson said, “When we didn’t find her the day she went missing, Wurrumiyanga Police called in additional support from Darwin to help with the search by air, land and sea, including members from the Water Police and the Territory Response Group’s search and rescue team, along with about 200 members of the community. No-one was going to give up until she was found.”

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Canberra was alerted, who deployed the Challenger jet with thermal imaging capability from Cairns to assist locating the woman.

“One of our members on the NT Police plane spotted a light yesterday evening; it was in the mangroves near the water, and thought it might be the missing woman. We sent a boat to the site, and members of the community also went to that area on foot.

The community members located the woman deep in the mangroves and decided to carry her out. They were met by police on a council boat, who ferried the woman to the barge landing. After receiving treatment from the local clinic, she was transferred to Royal Darwin Hospital.

“To the three young men who found her and began to carry her out of the mangroves and the mud, well done! Yours was an act of bravery to save someone’s life.”

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