Where would you be without our search & rescue volunteers? Lost! You’d be just as lost without an emergency locator beacon in NZ outdoor conditions. Locator beacons are a very important part of our camping and tramping range - but the people who give up their own time and carry out search and rescue duties also help you survive New Zealand’s beautiful but unpredictable outdoors.
New Zealand’s volunteer Land Search and Rescue (NZLSAR) organisation began in the 1930s. It was established after two large searches in the Tararua Ranges confirmed the need for a dedicated search and rescue group in our country. All these years later, the organisation is still in existence and it’s just as well. The unpaid professionals offer specialist search and rescue skills free to the public, and they do it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through the New Zealand Police and the Rescue Coordination Centre.
As an example of how much good they do, check out these statistics from a couple of years ago. From July 2017 to June 2018, New Zealand’s land search and rescue volunteers donated over 41,000 hours of their own time to rescue operations. During all those hours, they helped to save 65 people, rescue 191, and assist another 426.
In New Zealand, there are over 3,400 fully trained search and rescue volunteers. They’re members of 60 local groups right throughout New Zealand with specialist teams involved with search dogs, caving, alpine cliff rescue and swift water rescue. New Zealand’s Land Search and Rescue organisation has one of the highest rates of volunteer involvement in the world - 95% of the people who provide the operational SAR response in this country are volunteers!
Tens of thousands of Kiwis owe their lives to these unpaid search and rescue professionals. We use the word “professionals” because they’re incredibly proficient at what they do and very highly well trained. There’s nothing “amateur” about how they operate.
We owe our search and rescue volunteers a lot - so how can you repay them? You can make their job easier and give them back hours of their time by investing in a locator beacon. And if you do get lost in the outdoors, you can activate that beacon, find a clearing if you can, and stay put. Any search and rescue volunteer will tell you that moving after you’ve activated your beacon is the worst thing you can do.
So let’s be thankful to our volunteers. And to give them less to do, invest in that beacon as soon as you can. Contact us and we’ll discuss the best one for your requirements.