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What to do in the case of an overdue SBW trip

This information is for friends and family of members of Sydney Bush Walkers (SBW).

Most SBW trips will not have a precise finish time. There are many reasons why participants on a trip can return later than expected, including:
  • The terrain may be more challenging than expected (thick bush, route finding, river level higher than normal)
  • A participant may be slow (due to fitness, being heat affected, a minor injury)
  • The leader was ambitious in the ground they were expecting to cover
Improvements in modern technology have meant that if a trip has a genuine emergency (e.g. a broken leg) then they are able to get in contact with emergency services by:
  • Mobile phone range – increased range means even some quite remote trips can get a signal on the top of mountains
  • Sending a message using a satellite communicator device (Spot, Garmin InReach etc)
  • Setting off a Personal Location Beacon (PLB)

If your loved one has not returned from an SBW trip in the timeframe you expect, please do not call Emergency Services.

As a general rule a party should be given 15 hours from the time they are due back before raising an alarm.

e.g. if a group was due back on Sunday evening, then we would wait until Monday morning around 9-10am before contacting Police. This gives a slow group who may have been forced to camp overnight time to walk out the next morning.

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