POLICE are reminding people heading off for walks in national parks to ensure they are always properly equipped. The warning comes in the wake of two incidents involving hikers who got into difficulties at Wilsons Promontory National Park last weekend.
At about 11pm on Sunday police received a phone call from a hiker who was on the northern end of the Prom, near Barrys Hill. He was overdue, having become disoriented, but he was in good health and hopeful he would be able to find his way out when daylight arrived. He managed to walk out on Monday morning. He was met by Parks Victoria rangers on the northern circuit about six kilometres from the Five Mile car park.
At about 8.30 on Monday morning Foster police were called to the Prom by a 26-year-old hiker from Fitzroy who was dehydrated, out of water and on the beach northeast of Millers Landing. The tide was going out, so there was no chance of a marine rescue. With the day rapidly warming up, it was decided to organise a helicopter from Melbourne Search and Rescue to pick up the hiker. He was airlifted to the Latrobe Regional Hospital to be checked out for dehydration.
“It’s a timely reminder for people intending to hike anywhere to take the correct equipment, such as torch, food, clothing, water, GPS, shelter, phone, whistle, map,” said Leading Senior Constable Darren Lomax of Foster Police Station. “It’s also a good idea to let someone know where you are going and register your hike with Parks Victoria if you are hiking in a national park.”