It is a known element of rescue services: the attempt to save a stricken party can be fraught with risk. That is the reality of rescue work: the same conditions that have imperilled people are more than likely still present. Every rescuer is aware of this, and must come to terms with it.
Among rescue attempts among the Australian wilderness, there have been numerous rescuers that have had to be rescued themselves. They are benefited by foresight and a knowledge of present conditions, but these conditions can change, and not everyone eager to help is as fit as they once were. This means that modern tracking devices and location beacons are absolutely vital, to ensure that everyone is accounted for at the end of a day.
Last week, a gentleman in WA’s northern reaches unwittingly put in to motion a chain of events that would endanger the lives of some of his would-be rescuers. When his emergency locator was activated, it sent his coordinates to a friend, who notified the police. However, the friend also notified a local station, whose owner went up in their private plane to aid in the search. However, they encountered electrical difficulties when on their return voyage, and wound up forcing a landing in the bush.
They walked away from it safely, but their plane did not. The pair activated their GPS locator beacon, and they were lucky enough to be rescued shortly after – by yet another rescue party. This pattern is one that repeats itself in many situations. More people operating in such locations, and in motion, means greater potential for lost parties.