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NSW SES helps rescue isolated campers in Barrington Tops

NSW State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers together with NSW Ambulance have successfully transported a group of campers to safety after they had been isolated by last week’s storm.

The group of 4 adults and 6 children had been camping at the Currawong campground in the Barrington Tops when heavy rain caused the Telegherry River to rise and cut all road access to the campground.

The isolation of the campers was identified early last week, with NSW Forestry setting up a supply line over of the flooded river to enable the provision of essential items to the campers. Radio communications were also established between the campers and emergency services in order to monitor the situation and ensure the safety of the holidaymakers.

Emergency services then considered a number of options to transport the families out of the campground however helicopter and overland options were discounted due to the heavily vegetated terrain of the area.

With the chance of more showers this week and the possibility that the campers could be isolated for another extended period, a decision was made to rescue campers across the still flooded causeway via inflatable rescue rafts and rope safety systems.

NSW SES flood rescue technicians together with personnel from NSW Ambulance special causality access team conducted a joint operation yesterday afternoon that resulted in the safe extraction of the campers from the Currawong campground.

NSW SES Mid North Coast Acting Region Controller, Tony Day said, “This is a great result for all concerned. With there being a number of campers under the age of 5 the risks to the welfare of those concerned was unacceptably high had they remained isolated for another extended period.”

Mr Day said,” I would like to acknowledge the contribution of our emergency service partners, NSW Ambulance, Police and Forestry in conducting this operation and thank our NSW SES volunteers from Taree, Gloucester and Stroud Units, who after a busy week, were able to respond in such an effective manner.”

The rescues come at the end of a busy period for NSW SES volunteers with last week’s heavy rain and high winds resulting in 300 calls for assistance across the Mid North Coast.

For more information on how to prepare for storms and floods visit http://www.stormsafe.com.au and http://www.floodsafe.com.au

For more information please contact: Tony Day – 6592 5800

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