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December 2021 Issue
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Police warn of misinformation on tramping emergency calls

Police are urging trampers to call 111 if they are lost in the bush with a low phone battery, in response to poor advice circulating on social media.

Police said a post being shared on Facebook groups had been advising trampers to change their voicemail message rather than dialing 111 if they are lost and have a low phone battery. However, police said this is “incorrect advice that could be life-threatening”.

​​”If you find yourself lost on a tramp or walk in the outdoors, and you have a weak signal or low battery, police advice is to call 111 immediately,” a police spokesperson said. “Do not waste time and phone battery trying to change your voicemail message.

“If you use up the last of your battery changing your voicemail, chances are nobody will know you need help. And if there is no cellular signal you will not even be able to change your voicemail message.”

Police advised trampers to leave their intentions before heading outdoors, use the Mountain Safety Council’s Plan My Walk app and buy or hire a PLB.