Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Tramper slammed for apparent mis-use of beacon

8 February 2012 | TIME: 1.40pm

Tramper slammed for apparent mis-use of beacon

A tramper in south Westland who appears to have activated his personal locator beacon simply because he was running late and wanted a ride to his car wasted time, taxpayers’ money, and potentially put others at risk.

The man, in his 60s, was tramping in the headwaters of the Otoko River area, and activated his beacon at around 4.30pm yesterday (7 February). The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) tasked the Solid energy helicopter from Greymouth which located the man, only to find he was uninjured.

Maritime New Zealand’s General Manager of Rescue and Response Services, Nigel Clifford, said if the beacon activation was simply because the man was late, then it was entirely inappropriate, potentially dangerous, and a clear breach of the radio regulations that apply to emergency distress beacons.

“The incident tied up a helicopter for around two and a half hours, at a cost of around $10,000 to taxpayers, and more importantly meant that aircraft was unavailable for any other genuine emergency that may have arisen,” he said.

“Yesterday there were two other beacon activations – one by a tramper injured in the Olivine River area, near Glenorchy, and the other by a tramper who had fallen ill just north of Glentanner, near Lake Pukaki. Both these activations were by people who were debilitated and at risk – it was entirely appropriate that they activated their beacons.”

Radio regulations permit the use of emergency distress beacons by general users but are clear that the beacon should only be used in an emergency situation. There are penalties for the mis-use of beacons ranging from a formal warning, to an infringement notice penalty of $250, and prosecution, which carries a maximum fine of $30,000. The regulations are administered by Radio Spectrum Management, part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Maritime New Zealand is considering what action to take with regard to this specific incident.

“We recommend everyone going tramping carry a beacon – and that they register their beacon,” Mr Clifford said. “While the decision to activate a beacon is one that only the person carrying it can make, depending on their circumstances, it is not a decision that should be taken lightly. It is certainly not a taxi service.”

The tramper who activated his beacon in the Olivine River area near Glenorchy activated his beacon shortly before 7pm. the RCCNZ tasked Southern Lakes Helicopters to fly to the position, and found the man who was suffering from a stomach complaint and had not eaten in two days. He was flown to Te Anau.

The tramper in the Glentanner area near Lake Pukaki activated his hired beacon shortly before 10pm. Enquires with the hire company ascertained tramping in the area. The Mount Cook Department of Conservation search and rescue team located the man at 12.40am. He was suffering from a broken arm and was picked up by a Helicopter Line helicopter this morning and taken to Timaru.

Personal Locator Beacons should be registered, without charge, at the website: www.beacons.org.nz

Registration is a legal requirement and provides emergency contact information that can be extremely valuable in case of an emergency.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greens: Russel Norman To Stand Down As Co-Leader

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party’s Annual General Meeting in May. Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM.

“After nearly a decade as Co-leader, now is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family” said Dr Norman.

“This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change. Now is a good time for new leadership for the Party. My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point… More>>

ALSO:

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news