Emergency services urge hikers to be careful after rescues spike

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New South Wales Emergency service crews are pleading with bush walkers to be better prepared following an increase in rescues across the state.

So far in 2022, police have rescued 22 hikers who have become lost or injured in bushland and national parks.

Some of the rescues included two bush walkers who became lost and dehydrated in the Blue Mountains last month and alerted emergency services using a personal locator beacon.

So far 22 hikers have been rescued this year. (9News)
Police tell bush walkers to be better prepared as rescues increase
Police are begging hikers to be more careful. (9News)

Rescue teams from PolAir and Blue Mountains were able to find the hikers, a woman and a man in their 40s, near the Boorong Crags.

The couple were severely dehydrated and had to be winched to safety.

Another rescue took place when a 59-year-old woman broke her leg while canyoning with three other people in Butterbox Canyon.

An NSW Ambulance helicopter towed the woman to safety and she was taken to hospital.

Police rescue and paramedics rushed to the area and found the other three people uninjured, a woman and a man in their 50s and a 15-year-old girl.

The rescue team stayed with the group overnight, before everyone was evacuated the following day.

Police tell bush walkers to be better prepared as rescues increase
Police conducted training drills today to prepare for rescues. (9News)

Sergeant Dallas Atkinson, leader of the Blue Mountains Police Rescue Team, said the summer had been a busy time for police as more and more people hiked through the bush and went canyoning .

“National parks and bushland are natural and unpredictable environments, and the reality is that often people get lost no matter how hard they try,” Sgt Atkinson said.

“It only takes a few simple steps to make sure you’re ready for the bush, and it can mean the difference between life and death.”

Police tell bush walkers to be better prepared as rescues increase
A new campaign urges outdoor enthusiasts to take precautions before hiking or canyoning. (9News)

The Think Before You Trek safety campaign encourages outdoor enthusiasts to pack enough water, food and first aid supplies, register their trip on the National Parks and Wildlife Service website and stick to a planned route .

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He also encourages hikers to install the Emergency Plus app and take a personal locator beacon, or satellite communication device, to use as a last resort.

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