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Shoalhaven Bushwalkers Inc.

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Protocol for Overdue Walkers

  • Club members should tell their partners to phone the Safety Contact - not the police - if walkers have not returned by a reasonable time. The Safety Contact names and numbers for Wednesday Walks and Weekend Walks can be found at the bottom of the Attendance / Waiver Sheet - attendanceform.pdf.

  • If the leader has not reported in by a reasonable time (e.g. 30 minutes after dark), the Safety Contact will attempt to contact the leader.

  • If the Safety Contact has been unable to contact the leader involved (or anyone else known to be on that walk) by about 8pm (or later if warranted), the Safety Contact will notify the President (or another committee member if the President is unavailable or on the missing walk).

  • The President will contact as many people as necessary to ascertain whether the overdue walk has actually failed to return. If this is found to be the case, and if there is no further news by 9pm, the President will inform the Nowra police of the situation.

  • The police have prime responsibility for searches in the Shoalhaven. They will want to know details such as the planned walk route, fitness levels, equipment carried, names and number of people they will be looking for (we usually won't have an accurate list until next of kin or emergency contacts start telling us - and this will surprise the police!).

  • To avoid unnecessary worrying (and embarrassment) by families and unnecessary workload on the Safety Contact and President, leaders should have the telephone numbers of the Safety Contact and several other Committee members with them on the walk. They should make the appropriate calls as soon as they are within telephone coverage. They should not wait until they get back home.

  • If someone on the walk does get a call through to a partner, they should ask that person to relay the information to the Safety Contact or President.