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Dunedin technology to track kayakers across ditch

Dunedin technology to track kayakers
Australian adventurers cross the ditch under watchful gaze of TracPlus

Australian kayakers James Castrisson and Justin Jones trans-Tasman crossing attempt will be monitored in real time by rescue authorities and supporters alike, thanks to New Zealand tracking company Daestra New Zealand.

Dunedin, NZ – 12 November 2007: Daestra New Zealand Ltd, provider of the global tracking service TracPlus™, are sponsoring a trans-Tasman expedition by Australian kayakers James Cartrisson and Justin Jones.

Company CEO Chris Hinch said “We applaud this wonderful effort by James and Justin, and in the light of the tragic outcome of the last crossing attempt, we are delighted to be able to support this undertaking by providing real time tracking and distress monitoring.”

In January 2007, kayaker and adventurer Andrew McAuley was lost, presumed drowned, while attempting the first solo trans-Tasman crossing by kayak. A two day air and sea search failed to recover his body.

The “Crossing The Ditch” two person kayak has been fitted with a TracPlus satellite tracking terminal which automatically reports the position of the kayak every ten minutes to Daestra’s data centre in Sydney, Australia. From there, tracking data is delivered to New Zealand and Australian maritime and aviation rescue authorities, as well as the expedition website, allowing supporters all over the world to see exactly where they are at any time.

James Catrisson said “TracPlus works perfectly and automatically updates every ten minutes, whatever happens, wherever we are, all day, every day! It’s great to know that should anything untoward happen, the guess work has been taken out of finding us.”

The Crossing the Ditch attempt is scheduled to depart from Foster on November 13th, and is expected to take at least six weeks to complete.

Photograph Attachment: James Catrisson during rescue rehearsals and familiarization with NSW Water Police. The white TracPlus tracking terminal is visible by James left hand.

About Daestra New Zealand

Daestra New Zealand is a New Zealand owned telematics company, enabling and delivering real time global tracking, sensor monitoring and analysis services to private businesses and government authorities world wide.

TracPlus is Daestra’s premier global tracking solution that delivers seamless real time tracking of aviation, maritime and land based assets within a single system, enhancing safety and providing “big picture” situational awareness for operators and rescue authorities alike. TracPlus supports both new and legacy tracking sensors in aircraft, vessels and vehicles.

TracPlus is used in seven countries including Antarctica, and is used by St John Ambulance Emergency Coordination Centres (ECC), Rescue Coordination Centre of New Zealand (RCCNZ), New York Air National Guard and the US State Department.

About Crossing the Ditch

James Castrission (25) is currently working as a Consultant for Deloitte. He completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Sydney in 2003 and a Diploma of Financial Markets from the Securities Institute of Australia.

In 2005 Justin Jones (24) completed an advanced science degree with Honours at the University of New South Wales and is currently undertaking a Masters of Commerce, also at UNSW.

Both Castrission and Jones completed their schooling at Knox Grammar School, finishing in 2000. They have undertaken numerous adventures both domestically and internationally.

Among their outdoor accomplishments:

- In April 2006, the pair returned from a successful 9 day kayak crossing of the notorious Bass Strait.

- In 2001, both participated in the first successful expedition to kayak the entire length of the Murray River (2560km). This expedition began at the source of the Murray River, near Thredbo in the high country, and was completed at its mouth at Goolwa near Adelaide. In the process they raised more than $9000 for the Starlight’s Children’s Foundation.

- James has led many expeditions internationally to climb mountains in New Zealand (Mount Cook, Mount Aspiring and various other technical peaks) and big walls in Yosemite, America, including a successful three-day ascent of the Nose on El Capitan.

- Between them, Castrission and Jones have completed a number of adventure races (Oxfam, Arrow) and both remain avid bushwalkers and sea kayakers.



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