Garth Dominy, NSRI Wilderness station commander, said:
At 19h00, Tuesday, 31st March, NSRI Wilderness initiated a search for a local father and daughter, age 34 and 11, along the Silver River, inland of Wilderness.
The man’s sister called NSRI reporting that they had gone camping in a remote area to wait out the lockdown and were only due back after the lockdown after she had dropped them off by vehicle at the start of a hiking trail on Thursday last week but they had called that Tuesday afternoon to say they were low on rations before the call was dropped and no further contact could be made with them and concerns for their safety were raised.
The man’s brother had also been alerted and he assisted to give a clearer indication of where the camp site was.
NSRI passed the call to WC Government Health EMS and WSAR (Wilderness Search and Rescue) and plans were to investigate further and to initiate a search from first light and the SA Police Services were also alerted
4 NSRI Wilderness crew volunteered to go on a preliminary reconnaissance of the area immediately and an initial search lasting until 23h00 was carried out by NSRI on Tuesday night but the dense vegetation made access to the area unsafe to continue a search at night.
On Wednesday morning, 3 NSRI Wilderness crew and 4 EMS rescue paramedics and an EMS rescue manager from WC Government Health EMS and WSAR prepared to begin a search.
George Fire and Rescue Services also attended the briefing on Wednesday morning and the SA Police Services were updated.
It had come to our attention during the night that the father and daughter had their dog and a kitten with them on the camping trip.
On Wednesday morning permission to hike through private land to reach the remote and dense bush search area was obtained from a local land owner whose farm lay between the nearest road access point and the area where the camping site was believed to be.
During a search coordinated by the EMS manager we came across the campers who were all fine and doing well and although they were surprised that a search had been activated for them they were extremely apologetic for the fuss caused and grateful for their families concerns.
They were found to be in the process of packing up to return home and the search party assisted in clearing the camp site and they were hiked back to the road access point without incident and the sister arrived and they went home with the man’s sister.
All were fine, including the dog and the kitten, and once safely back home no further assistance was required.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE