26 September 2023

Hikers warned to take care in the cold

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Parks Victoria and the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) are urging nature enthusiasts to plan for adverse conditions in the State’s parks this winter.

With the cold season now officially underway, VICSES said that as the days grew shorter, hikers could be caught out by early nightfall.

“Daylight hours are cut even shorter by the high ridges at locations like Lerderderg or Werribee Gorge, which increases the risk of serious injury from slips and falls,” VICSES said.

“Wet conditions and early dusk increase the risk of serious injury from slips, falls, and hypothermia,” it said.

“Parts of the Cathedral Range, Lerderderg, and Werribee Gorge, are well known to local VICSES and Parks Victoria crews as the setting for labour-intensive, time-consuming rescues.”

Parks Victoria (PV) said the short driving distance from Melbourne and natural beauty of Cathedral Range, Lerderderg, and Werribee Gorge had made the areas rescue hotspots.

It said new Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) markers had been installed at Cathedral Range, in the biggest milestone for the two Agencies since 2019 when the improved trail header and destination signage were erected throughout Cathedral Range State Park.

VICSES Marysville Unit, Controller, Josephine Hunter said it was incredibly gratifying to reach the milestone, “and most importantly being able to confidently say we’re seeing the number of avoidable Search and Rescue incidents in Cathedral Range State Park dropping.”

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