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Rock climbing, police and rescue today
11:53:48 PM
I was at diamond bay climbing with a few friends today.

Out of no where this guy extremely drunk comes limping from the rocks below. He was half wet as well. He couldnt stand and we adviced him not to attempt the climb out. Before we have a chance to get help there are 20+ rescue ppl. Someone else called them in. Now he's not seriously injured. But has twisted his ankle. He is lying on the ground next to the exit ladder. I go out to go up and tell the rescue crew the situation and this is where it gets weird...

I'm told straight away that I'm not allowed to go back down because it's too dangerous by the commander via the police? But I'm allowed to hang around the cliff face edge. Am I in my rights to go back down? Can police stop me? No rescue is down there.

Mean while my 2 relatively new climbing mates are down there having no clue what the rescuers are doing as the rescuers decide the scramble down is too risky to take? Okay fair enough but between them setting up their alternative rapell off a single fence post (wtf) for an hour no one is communicating to my mates or the injured drunk guy except my self who is able to wonder the cliff edge and visually talk to them while the other rescuers don't dare go close to the edge. Not one single time did they communicate directly until they absiels down an 1hr later. I'm not kidding (wtf).

Now for the super annoying bit. I tell the commander of the operation if my mate has to carry up my bag aswell as hers on the exit it will add an additional Risk to her life, and I should be allowed to go down to help her. But I'm denied as I am I told I could fall and die. And so she climbs up with both bags at the same time. Remember she is a relative new climber.

Seems there is some room for improvement. Just saying.

Keen to here others thoughts and experiences.

End of rant.

11:18:25 AM
Agree completely... The additional complexity that rescue operators add to situations slows things down, adds danger (due to slowness and complexity) and costs the taxpayer a fortune to boot.

I don't care what others say in defense, it's getting ridiculous.
Andy P
12:15:10 PM
Bl**dy hell Jez,
Am not fully conversant with the law/s but I'd personally have just gone back down. Am not suggesting for a split second that you weren't game to but ,,, (any coppers in the house who can clarify?). Thankfully all ended up alright - despite the (seemingly) incompetence of the rescue squad.

Not to hijack your thread, but I recently had a nasty run-in with a PSO (Protective Services Officer) on strolling home from my local pub: Was stood at the boom gates which were down and I hear a whistle and look over. PSO's clicking his fingers and I look around as if there's a lost dog somewhere. "Oi You, over 'ere now" he goes so I cross and front up.
Ticket book out and "Am gonna have to issue you an infringement notice and fine for that" , "yer wot occifer"? "Crossing there" ,,, "but I didn't cross coz you called me over, how long have you been out of school and what you on about?" (he looked about 19).
"ID". Hands over Drivers' License and he calls me in to the Williamstown old bill. "Clean as whistle, got nothing on Robert Andrew Pollitt" I hear over the radio.
By which time my mate who drives the trains has passed and given us an extra LONG, LOUD 'TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT'. "See? you idiot", but that upset him (and he has a badge and a fckn gun but I'm not just pished Up but pished Off not so run verbal rings around him coz he doesn't know his ar*e from his elbow. What a total tw*t.

As with your tale above Jez all turned out OK in the finish.

12:20:01 PM
Sadly this isn't anything new - back in 1998 or so a mate and I wanted to attempt Cruise or Bruise at The Gap and some "helpful" tourist called the Police Rescue Squad on us just as we were racking up. After pulling up our rap rope (which we'd left in place in case we needed to retreat), they insisted that we solo up the (horrendous!) fisherman's descent. To add insult to injury, they refused to provide identification when asked, so we weren't even able to raise an official complaint about the incident.

Bunch of severely undertrained, overcautious wankers, if you ask me.

E. Wells
8:20:48 PM
I think you should quit your bitchin , let the rescue guys extract the injured man. Then carry on life as usual. If you behave yourself they might just haul your gear out too.
12:15:29 AM
Sounds terrible. But sadly it is representative of the inexperience/incompetence and OH&S issues facing our government based rescue teams. Sure I've heard plenty of good stories but I've heard plenty of bumbling ones too.

On 22/04/2017 Jezlevett wrote:
>Am I in my rights to go back down? Can police
>stop me? No rescue is down there.

I'm not a lawyer but I believe that it is an offence to not obey a lawful order/direction from a police officer. Lawful orders from police officers are fairly broad as I understand it. When members of the public are at risk then I would believe that the police are well within the law here.

That said I probably would have ignored their requests. Not only because it was the RIGHT thing to do to assist the injured person but because if they tried to charge you might pretty good defence. It could be readily argued that you fear that the person especially because of his intoxication was in great danger if he was reached expediently.
11:37:52 AM
As a climber and a member of a vertically accredited rescue unit in Sydney this does not surprise me. Remember these guys are selected as Police Officers first and foremost - they are not recruited as rope gurus and many may have next to no experience with heights and ropes. Most rescue work is road accident rescue or domestic and industrial (people with limbs trapped in machines).

In the coppers defense usually there are no shortage of meddling Joe Public and like us all the drunkest ones have the best ideas, so they ignore anyone and everyone and just ban people from the site.

Best advice can I offer is make sure you can save yourself or be prepared to wait a long time. The tower crane guys realised years ago after drilling with emergency services that they needed to rescue themselves.

The service I work for has undergone a massive change with regard to Vertical Rescue and for the first time in 18 years I can say we have excellent training and new equipment. We still focus heavily on industrial type scenarios but recreational type capabilities are improving too.

5:17:14 PM
"The tower crane guys realised years ago after [dealing] with emergency services that they needed to rescue themselves".

Here's a Scenario...
There's a Nati rescue / rope crew right? In the event I am in, or witness an accident (say one that is not life critical); can I call them to come and do the rope side of the rescue, and ask for an ambulance for pickup at the pines only? I realise this is probably impractical, as a dozen other people will probably call 000, and, once the cat's out of the bag - it's all hands on deck.

5:28:55 PM
The signs at the Pines toilet block actually state that calling 000 and requesting cliff rescue is the only way to get the local cliff rescue group deployed. However, I expect that the issues described in the original post of this thread would not occur at Arapiles, due to the existence of a that local cliff rescue group, as the emergency services would use them instead of having to pluck people off the rock themselves.
8:10:27 PM
I guess like you can administer first aid - making the situation better using the skills you have is ok assuming nothing goes wrong and you work well within your skills. As first responders we are told to seek subject matter experts to help or advise in a rescue (for instance the plant operators can assist isolating moving parts of machinery, etc.) Arrogance might be the reason help was declined in this case.
8:15:36 PM
The short answer is that the rope-rescue resources at Arapiles can only be activated via 000. Whether it's SES or CFA providing the resources we are part of Emergency services. You don't get hold of us, with the state-provided gear, without the full shebang. And believe me, it's a shebang.

You need to distinguish between if you're stuck or if you need a rescue. If you're merely stuck, please call some friends, or even some enemies, to help you out.You'll get home a lot quicker (and at present, for reasons too tedious to go into, the wait for rope rescue will be considerable). Sure contact locals who are in the rope rescue group if you know their number, but they can only use their personal resources (which may be considerable).

However If there's an injury on the cliff you need to assess first whether the injured person is going to need an ambulance. In that case call 000 now. You want the ambulance there as soon as possible. Also tell 000 that the casualty is on the cliff. They need to know, even if you think you can get them down safely. If you don't give 000 the full situation and fail to get the injured person down, that's time you won't get back.

I have had calls where people have suggested that they might get the casualty back to the Pines and then call the Ambulance. Why would you do that? If they aren't going to be able to cope with the drive into Horsham don't expect them to cope with the carry back to the Pines.

There are 11 messages in this topic.


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