BSAR softshell jackets

BSAR hi-vis softshell jackets were first issued to members in 2013.  They complement the BSAR hi-vis safety shirt, beanie and cap.

BSAR Softshell BSAR Softshell jacket

These jackets were provided through the funding support of the JJ Gardiner Trust, via the Alpine Search and Rescue Victoria club, the Victorian Department of Justice, and Bushwalking Victoria.  BSAR is very grateful for the generous support that enabled its members to be so equipped.

The jackets are durable, showerproof and provide good insulation.  They are also suitable for use in alpine environments.


Misuse of personal locator beacons (PLBs)


Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) can be used during an emergency situation (typically in in remote areas) to summon emergency assistance via a radio signal that is picked up by satellites and commercial aircraft.

However, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has reported that many people in Australia are misusing these devices.    248,000 PLBs are registered in Australia.  During 2012, 1,700 PLBs have been triggered nationally, with 266 searches resulting, but only 109 events were genuine emergencies.

Some beacons are being triggered in capital cities and urban areas.  There have been 400 inadvertant activations and 21 confirmed hoaxes.

Accidental, frivolous or hoax activation of PLBs puts significant inappropriate demand on national and state emergency services and wastes money.

PLB users are reminded that distress beacons should only be used as a last resort when there is a threat of grave and imminent danger. In an emergency, communication should first be attempted using radios, phones, SPOT devices and other communications devices available.

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Battery Review

A number of batteries commonly found on supermarket shelves and hardware stores in Australia were recently put to the test in the Garmin Vista HCx GPS units commonly used by BSAR. Fresh batteries were purchased in packs of 4 and the standard price noted per battery. Batteries were placed in a GPS unit. The unit was turned on and operated such that it displayed the Main Menu screen. The GPS unit was placed on a shelf at room temperature.
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Garmin Vista HCx tips and tricks


Here are some tips provided by Frank Zgoznik for using the Garmin Vista HCx

Map Limits on the GPS

The Garmin units have a limit of 2024 maps. So not all the OZ topo maps will fit on the GPS.
I found that I could install all the City Navigator maps (MetroGuide is your equivalent), all the Tracks4Australia 1.20 maps but only the eastern half of Australia using the OZTopoMaps10m.

Technical details here:

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