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Community & Business

25 May, 2021

Helping to save lives

A LEADING Far North Queensland hiker has created a ground-breaking initiative and implemented key measures that could potentially save lives of lost, trapped, or injured hikers in need of immediate assistance and rescue.

By Michael Warren

A LEADING Far North Queensland hiker has created a ground-breaking initiative and implemented key measures that could potentially save lives of lost, trapped, or injured hikers in need of immediate assistance and rescue.

Cairns Come Hike and Explore Facebook page moderator Steven Dangaard has consulted with local Government officials to encourage hikers to record their hikes and later submit their GPX files to a specific email address. 

The submitted GPX file would be then accessed and used by search and rescue teams to perform accurate and timely search and rescue missions in remote and rarely hiked locations. “There have been many instances in the past where local search and rescue have had to push into remote and difficult locations to extract hikers,” Mr Dangaard said. 

“These locations can pose significant challenges for the rescue teams on the ground trying to coordinate and navigate extractions, especially if these locations are unknown to them. 

“You just can’t beat local knowledge; there are many hikers on this page that push into very remote locations and do record their hikes on GPS devices. 

“Having an (available) database of all the traversed hiking trails will greatly enhance local police and SES’s capability to plan and execute difficult recoveries.” 

Hikers are encouraged to submit their files to SARCairns@police.qld.gov.au. 

Under no circumstances will the files by used for private use or public distribution. 

Ideally the email would include the name of the hike, its start and end points and points of interest, if possible, marked as waypoints, along with the attached GPX file and descriptions of the trail. 

The Cairns Come Hike and Explore page has more than 13,000 followers, including those from towns right across T he Tablelands region. 

For further information please contact Sergeant Weiss at Atherton Police Station on 07 4091 9800 or send an email to the above address  

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