Submitted by VK2YJS on

As many of you would be aware there has been a prolonged search in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney for a person missing from a resort near Leura. It is one of the largest searches undertaken by NSW Police Rescue.

WICEN has been providing communications support for the Bushwalkers Wilderness Rescue Service, VRA Caves Rescue and Police Rescue who were tasked into the difficult to access areas within the search area. These included canyons and cliffs which were searched by repetitive abseiling. WICEN was on site since last Saturday until Wednesday evening, and contributed well over 300 hours of operational time. Five to six WICEN operators were involved each day, setting up radio points which could look into the areas the BWRS were operating in so that communications with BWRS and the command post at the Fairmont Resort were maintained. The WICEN radio point at Sublime Point was logging the radio traffic between the search teams and the command post utilising relays as needed from the 3-4 WICEN radio points in use. WICEN used both Amateur VHF and UHF; 5 MegaHertz; and non-Amateur VHF and UHF. Thanks also go to BMARC for the use of their Lawson 2 metre repeater.

Police Rescue have released a number of posts on their Facebook site that are worth a read.

WICEN has been involved in the detailed planning of this year's search for VH-MDX in the Barrington Tops. WICEN have taken members of NSW Police Rescue and Australian Defence Force on a reconnaissance on the Northern part of the likely search area in the last few weeks. This year's search looks like being in a different valley than has been searched in recent years and using different radio points inside the National Park. The search is very likely to be much larger than in recent years with personnel from the Australian Defence Force, NSW Police Rescue, SES, National Parks and other government agencies likely to be involved. The date hasn't been set but is pencilled in for the 19th and 20th of October, the week before the HCC canoe event. If you are interested in participating then please contact operations at WICEN. Contact details are on the WICEN NSW website.

WICEN's NSW Hunter region was due to be involved in a Horse Enduro event, not yet mentioned in this news, in mid August. Due to the Hendra virus begin identified in the area, this has been cancelled. Hendra virus is a deadly virus that affects horses and humans with a very high fatality rate. When it is discovered quarantine procedures are put in place which severely limits the movement of horses in and out of the impacted area.

Therefore, the next WICEN event in the Hunter is the Memory Walk and Jog at Speers Point on the 8th of September.

The world famous Shazada Horse Endurance Ride, or Enduro, will be held again this year at St Albans, from Monday 26 August to Sunday 1 September. It is run as loops out of the small village of St Albans to the north of Sydney - or west of the Central Coast. This is a rugged and remote area, and presents many communications challenges.

This year's Trek for Timor will be in and around the Kangaroo Valley on Saturday the 21st of September. Funds raised will allow solar powered lights to be installed in 1024 homes in the Remexio district. These will replace polluting kerosene lamps, allowing children to study at night. The project will also train over 30 local young people in installing and maintaining the systems. There are 11 and 50km options. If you have a group which is interested in participating, visit:

WICEN ACT, part of the Canberra Region Amateur Radio Club have many events planned for October, in and around the ACT. Details can be found at:

Coming events include:
Monday 26 August to Sunday 1 September Shazada Horse Ride at St Albans
Memory Walk & Jog in the Hunter on September 8th
The Trek for Timor in Kangaroo Valley on Saturday the 21st of September
WICEN ACT's Brookvale Horse Endurance Ride, Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th of October.
The Light Car Club of Canberra Rally on Saturday October 12
Memory Walk & Jog in the Illawarra on October 13
Battle of the Beasts Mountain Bike Race on Saturday 19th October in VK1
SAREX Barrington Tops in mid to late October
25th Fitz’s Challenge Bike Ride in the ACT on Sunday 27th October

Submitted by Julian Sortland VK2YJS on behalf of the WICEN State Management Committee.