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

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news