Two Polish canyoners have Moruya’s Lifesaver 23 Westpac helicopter to thank, after they were lost in bushland overnight.
The two were reported missing late Sunday evening, after they failed to return from their trip into the Blue Mountains. Police located their car at Mount Wilson, and a search began.
Lifesaver 23 spokesman Stephen Leahy said it was challenging – and there was no guarantee the canyoners would be found safe.
“The chopper was out searching nearly all day,” he said.
“Police called at about 8am, and Lifesaver 23 got to Sydney at about 10am (on Tuesday) and commenced searching.”
“It was a very challenging environment, and because they were canyoning, we didn't know where they would be. We didn’t know if they were injured, we had no indication about where they might be or what condition they might be in. We knew nothing.
“We always hope for the best, and plan for the best, but in the back of your mind you know the outcome may not be as you want it to be.”
The duo had gone missing in the Blue Mountains, near Mount Wilson.
“It’s very dense bushland, these guys were wearing dark clothing and it does become difficult to see them,” Mr Leahy said.
“It was on a pass later in the afternoon we saw them. The rescue crew officer was winched in and confirmed that they were fine – they were both then winched on board and flown to Mount Wilson.
“It’s always great news when the subject of your search is located – it’s even better news when they’re both alive, in good condition, and we can return them safe and well to their families.”
Mr Leahy recommended anyone planning a bushland adventure take a distress beacon.
“They did everything right – they were prepared to camp overnight, had additional food and water, so they had no issues surviving the night,” he said.
“The one thing they didn’t have was a distress beacon, and when they realised they were lost, they could have activated that and we would have found them quickly.
“If you’re going four-wheel driving or walking in the bush or remote parts of the countryside this summer, we really stress that a small distress beacon is a brilliant investment, and you can get them at most outdoor and marine shops.”