SOS on hike is just a WhatsApp away

2015-08-04 06:01
A new WhatsApp group aims to keep hikers safe.

PHOTO: 
nicole mccain

A new WhatsApp group aims to keep hikers safe. PHOTO: nicole mccain

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A new WhatsApp group has been created to boost hiker safety on Table Mountain.

The group allows hikers to notify the Hikers Network when they depart on a hike, as well as check in along the way.

Created by Tim Lundy and Anwaaz Bents to help people be safer on our mountains, the group can track hikers and activate search and rescue teams if necessary.

“The number of accidents happening on our mountains is growing as more and more people use the mountains,” explains Lundy. “The importance of a group like this is to help our fellow mountain users should they need it. We hopefully will reduce the number of rescues performed every year.”

Safety of hikers and tourists within the Table Mountain National Park has been in the spotlight following a recent spate of crimes. A group of cyclists were mugged at Black Hill, which followed the mugging of three groups of tourists on Lion’s Head.

Provincial government officials also reportedly met with community organisations last week to discuss ways to improve the safety and security of mountain users.

Hikers can join the WhatsApp group by sending their number to Lundy.

“If there is an incident then the tracker will add you to the incident room, where you will be led step by step. The first thing is to call search and rescue. We will also give whatever information can help them decide what rescue steps need to be taken. Your tracker will just be a message away if you need him or her. The idea is to help speed up getting help to you,” he explains.

V

Visit hikersnetwork.co.za/mountain-safety/ for more information

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