SES Volunteers Association of WA

One Association - Many Values

07/09/2012 – Injured Walker uses GPS to get help

Injured Bibbulmun hiker uses GPS to alert partner in Queensland, via text message.  A 44-YEAR-old Queensland woman had to be rescued last night from the Bibbulmun Track after rendering herself unconscious and injuring her leg.   Mother-of-three Nivia Pryor, 44, from Brisbane, was hiking alone on the Bibbulmun Track in the Perth Hills yesterday to raise money for an autism charity.  One of her three children has autism.

Her partner notified WA police as soon as he received the emergency alert and a search party was sent to the area.  Ms Pryor today told how she slipped and fell in wet, treacherous conditions and smashed her head on a rock and damaged her knee.  She believes she was unconscious for about four hours, before she regained her senses and activated her GPS, known as a “Find Me Spot”.  

The device sent an SMS alert to her partner Michael’s phone and email in Brisbane, telling him exactly where she was.  Her partner notified WA police as soon as he received the emergency alert and a search party was sent to the area.  Ms Pryor was found just after 6pm on the southern side of the Mundaring Weir, a major catchment dam and tourist attraction in the Perth Hills, about 45km from the city.

“It was very, very  wet weather and it actually just hailed,” Ms Pryor said today as she was reunited with police who helped find her late yesterday.  “I was heading down a gully and I slipped  . . . I’ve banged my head on a rock as I’ve gone down and felt my knee twist. 
“And then I’ve sort of come to and I’ve looked at my watch and it had actually been a few hours.”

After regaining consciousness Ms Pryor pressed a button on the GPS known as a “come help me button” which sent her exact coordinates to her partner’s phone and email address in Brisbane.  “I was colder than normal, very dazed and my knee was blown up, there was no way I was going anywhere.” 
The GPS device cost about $150, she said.  “I’ve had it for a while  . .  it is very important to use,” she said.

The Bibbulmun Track is one of the world’s great long distance walk trails, stretching nearly 1000km from Kalamunda in the Hills, to Albany on the south coast, winding through the heart of South West.  Mundaring Police Senior Constable Rick Cook and his partner flanked by DEC ranger Paul Udinga sprung into action about 4pm to find Ms Pryor after they got word she was missing somewhere around Mundaring Weir.

The trio needed a four-wheel-drive to access the rugged terrain to get to where she was.  “Paul and I have looked for people on the Bibbulmun Track before and it has taken us hours to locate people,” Sen Constable Cook said.  “In this case we went straight to her. It’s a brilliant device that saved her life, I believe.”  “It’s very rugged terrain out there.”  Sen Constable Cook said Ms Pryor was very cold, tired and distressed when they found her.

She was taken to Swan Districts Hospital for treatment, but later released suffering minor injuries. 

 A relieved Nivia Pryor shows off her GPS which she used to send an emergency message after she slipped and fell on the Bibbulmun Track yesterday. Picture: Richard Polden Source: PerthNow
Source: Phil Hickey From: PerthNow September 06, 2012 9:51AM

For more information about “Find me Spot”: http://www.findmespot.net.au/

Disclaimer: The SESVA provides this link as information. The association is not advocating the device or the service as an rescue tool. You will have to make your own decision about the device and service if it will meet your outback” rescue or communication plans.

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