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Police praise Tasmanian pair rescued after emergency satellite message

A mother and son stranded by rain and snow near Lake McKenzie in Tasmania’s north have been rescued after calling for help by satellite messages. Sonia and Daniel had been on a three-day walk in the area when a predicted cold snap began hitting the state.

The weather deteriorated rapidly and the walkers were unable to cross the Fisher River. The couple used a satellite messenger they were carrying, calling for help on Sunday night.

Police traveled to area with a rescue inflatable and were able to reach the boy and his mother and return them to their vehicle. Sergeant Michael Gillies praised them for being prepared.

“The pair were well equipped and in good spirits when we located them, but I think they will take a little more notice of the weather next time,” he said. “This time of year is particularly hazardous when the weather improves, and we have a cold snap that can be a serious problem if you are caught out unawares. “Carrying a satellite messenger enabled the pair to call for assistance, and for police to tailor an appropriate and speedy response.”

“This would have been a larger scale search and rescue operation if they were reported overdue and unable to make contact for assistance.” Sergeant Gillies said the pair made the call for help late on Sunday afternoon, and were rescued by police about 11:00am on Monday. “They were dry, they were happy, and they had done all of the right things,” he said.

“You can’t rely on mobile phones up there, so they had a satellite messenger and they were able to get messages to their family if anything went wrong, which is invaluable for us when we go looking for someone.” The weather bureau is predicting a cold front will bring wintery conditions across the state by Tuesday.

Snow is predicted to fall across Tasmania’s higher points in the 24 hours from Monday morning, and in western parts it could reach lower than 200 metres.

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