Authorities warn of chasing social media photos into the wild

Mount Buffalo, site of a large number of high-angle rescues

Authorities warn of chasing social media photos into the wild

Visitors dangerously unprepared

Posted on 11.01.2021

National parks authorities fear visitors are venturing dangerously unprepared into the bush, inspired by social media images and taking serious risks after emerging from months of lockdown in the city.

A story from down in Victoria but a sensible warning nevertheless (Outdoors Queensland)

Growing concerns about the summer holidays come as new figures showed Mount Buller, Mount Buffalo, Taggerty and Arapiles were locations where emergency services were conducting the most treacherous and complex rescues at great heights.

Figures supplied by the Victoria State Emergency Service showed it conducted 365 “high-angle rescues” in the five years to 2020 across the state. These are complex rescue operations carried out at major heights with slopes of at least 60 degrees.

Over that time its members were also called out to 87 rescues of paragliders or people using parachutes, mostly in forested and coastal areas.

Last week a woman fell 80 metres to her death at the Boroka Lookout in the Grampians after climbing a safety barrier to take a photo.

In the past five years the SES has conducted 32 high-angle rescues at Mount Buffalo, Mount Buller, Taggerty and the Arapiles, amounting to more than one a year at each location.

Mount Arapiles is a popular rock climbing spot known for having some challenging climbs.
At Bright, Kinglake, Flinders, Lorne and Warrnambool there were six rescues each over the five years.

By comparison, the emergency service conducted five high-angle rescues at Zumsteins and four at Halls Gap, both in the Grampians, over the same period.

 

“… social media was encouraging people to push further into the bush to get pictures they could post online. An international phenomenon of people wanting to go for walks not for the walk but for the selfie shot.”

Source
Benjamin Preiss
The Age

 

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