At 0300hrs on Friday 14 April 2017 the Hedland SES received a call for assistance to 2 bogged vehicles out in the Ridleys Creek area north east of Port Hedland. Usually the SES does not respond to 4WDs that are bogged unless there is a threat to life. In this case there where 5 children on site the youngest being 4yrs old and they had been out there all night. What made this recovery a little problematic is that there are a vast number of tracks and creeks out in that area and without an exact location it would have been akin to finding a needle in a hay stack.
Fortunately there was mobile phone coverage and the caller was instructed to download the Emergency Plus app to his phone (can be downloaded from http://emergencyapp.triplezero.gov.au/) which provides GPS coordinates of the persons exact location and this makes the response of emergency services a lot more efficient and timely.
At 0600hrs 4 members of the SES Unit departed Hedland to undertake the recovery. Whilst travelling to the location the members came across another couple of vehicles who when spoken to where family members of those stranded who had come out to assist. Upon arriving at the location one vehicle had already been recovered and the family members where well equipped to effect recovery of the other vehicle. Whilst the morning was not a total loss, it also provide the 4 members the opportunity to practice their Off Road Driving skills.
This is a timely reminder that if you are heading off the beaten track that you at least carry some equipment that could assist should you become stranded along with some extra supplies. It is also very prudent that you inform someone (friend or family) of your travel plans and when you could be expected to return.