A lone hunter who decided not to activate his personal locator beacon despite breaking his foot deep in the New Zealand bush is urging fellow hunters and trampers to learn from his mistake and use their PLB in an emergency.
Tim Edge, from Ashhurst, is raising awareness about the importance of carrying and activating personal beacons after his ordeal following an accident in Manawatu’s Pahangina Valley where he was chasing a stag.
Despite carrying an ACR Electronics ResQLink PLB, Tim admits he was too embarrassed to call for help and thought he knew the area well enough to get out on his own. Instead, he spent more than two hours trying to find his way to the forest/farm land boundary through dense bush and rough terrain.
Luckily, he was rescued by Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter Trust and airlifted to Palmerston North Hospital after his dad contacted the authorities, but Tim knows that his actions could have had serious consequences.
“I would like to use my experience to bring some awareness to other hunters about when to use their PLBs and also highlight the work of the rescue authorities,” said Tim. “Although things worked out safely in the end, my mistake was in leaving the safety of my camp in an opening clearing where winch recovery would be easy. I re-entered dense bush, injured, to try to get myself and my gear out, which were the wrong things to do. If anything else had happened while I was making my way out, it would have been a lot worse. At the time I thought it wasn’t serious enough and I was too embarrassed to use the beacon. I had all the right gear, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t use it. My message to other hunters and trampers is to not let a sense of pride prevent them from calling for rescue if their life is in danger.”
Tim broke his foot after falling down a bank when he slipped while carrying a full pack of venison back to camp and called his dad to let him know he was injured. He managed to make it out of the bush to farm land just as the helicopter arrived.
In addition to other gear, such as extra food and water, a tent and GPS, Tim was carrying the compact ResQLink™ by ACR Electronics which would have alerted rescue services when activated. Ideal for all hunters, trampers, hikers and a range of other activities on land and at sea, the ResQLink is a buoyant, GPS-enabled rescue beacon designed which quickly and accurately relays your position to a worldwide network of search and rescue satellites.