The first couple of weeks of June saw Kalbarri SES continuing to deal with the results on cyclone Seroga. After Rain and high winds on May 28, we were called upon to repair a number of leaks in already tapped buildings throughout Friday. The unit was due to host volunteers from several locations for a Single Rope Rescue training course on May 29 & 30 however operational matters always take precedence over training and all students were tasked for the weekend with assisting with storm damage repairs. On May 31 a relief team of volunteers from the Metropolitan Area arrived to assist. With more bad weather, storm damage repairs continued through the week to Wednesday June 9th.
After several months of continual attention to TC Seroga storm damage, Kalbarri SES has now completed the emergency storm repair phase of TC Seroga. During this time we have completed over a thousand jobs and completed emergency repairs far more complex than SES would normally tackle. Kalbarri is now in Recovery Phase and storm damage now becomes the responsibility of insurers, owners and builders to complete permanent repairs. Our local volunteers worked tirelessly through the past months and now can take time to recover and catch up with their own livelihoods.
While we have stepped back from TC Seroga repairs, Kalbarri SES is fully operational and available for deployment as per normal.
Search for missing sail board rider.
At about 1.00pm on June 9th Local and visiting SES teams were taking a lunch break after completing several storm damage jobs resulting from strong winds and rain overnight. We received a call from Kalbarri Marine Rescue requesting assistance in searching for a sail board rider who has been sighted in difficulty in the river entrance. Marine Rescue had launched the Spirit of Kalbarri but had lost sight of the missing boarder.
Local SES volunteers launched our flood rescue boat and assisted Marine Rescue by patrolling the area inside Oyster Reef to Chinaman’s Point. Conditions outside the entrance were treacherous and prevented us and Marine Rescue from safely entering the outer entrance channel. Our search ceased on darkness when a rescue helicopter arrived to continue from the air.
The search continued for several days with local and visiting SES crews conducting searches of the river and beaches north and south of Kalbarri. Sadly the search failed to locate the sail board rider.
Zuytdorp Cliffs Reconnaisance:
On June 19th to 22nd 6 Kalbarri SES volunteers and 2 Karratha SES volunteers conducted a reconnaissance trip to establish if access was available to the Zuytdorp Cliffs between Tamala Station and Kalbarri. We travelled north to Tamala before following ill defined tracks south. We reached the coastal cliffs at Womerangee Hill. Tracks south of this point were overgrown and often non existant and after hours of searching we were forced to return to Tamala and travel back to Kalbarri on the bitumen.
The trip confirmed that access to this area is difficult and highlighted that country can change over several years and obliterate tracks and landmarks shown on maps. After some research we now believe we have located a possible passable track and will make another attempt in the future.