Being a volunteer rescue unit, we are all about the people…
Because we are about the people, we are always looking at ways to get involved with communities and different social aspects where the need for specialised rescue is likely event.
That brings us to our recent involvement with Pinetown Off Road Club, better know as PORC, and their social event dubbed South to West.
South to West, is an offroad motorcycle ride, not just any ride, its a social ride which includes young riders, ladies and experienced riders all out there together. And to make it even more challenging there is no route markings, its completely navigational with a GPS route only!
So this is where we come into play, 190 riders give or take, out in the bush riding 87 kilometers between Karidene on the South Coast to Westmead in Pinetown… We decide to join the ride and look after the riders should they need it.
We took our response vehicle out onto the route as backup, and since the vehicle could not follow the entire route, we hauled out the Side x Side and kitted it out, as well as Dan on his bike with enough gear to execute a rescue and stabilize a patient til rescue vehicle arrives.
The ride for us, turned out to be a rather social affair with us chatting to riders on the route and stopping off all over for a bit here and there.
Of course, we were put to good use during the event as well, with the first piece of action being at the biggest river crossing of the day, where a rider sunk his bike so deep in the sand the only way out was some digging and drag by the 4×4 power of the Side x Side…
The whole ride took us as rescue crew a little over 9 hours to complete, but not without one incident where a female rider had a rather nasty crash. We sorted out her cuts and bruises and then transported both her and her bike to a point where the marshal could collect.
Once we had gotten to the finish though was when the real fun began, two riders had gotten lost and ran out of fuel. So…
The fun began, tracing their cell phone signal and navigating to their position via GPS. Just over an hour later we found the two riders, some 2.5km off course.
We refueled their bikes and headed off with them following us back. However, this only lasted just over a km where after one of the bikes broke down and would not start again. We hooked up a tow line and began to tow one bike back while the other one rode.
2 km later the second bike broke down as well. So we had two bikes in tow behind us while we wound our way through the river and up the mountain side, all of this in the dark!
Eventually we get the riders to the tar road where they are met by a vehicle to load up their bikes, and we then continued back to the finish. Completing an additional 56 kilometers.
As a whole it was an awesome day out in the bush, and we will see all the riders again for the Eston 2 day navigational in November!