Slacklining rope puts helicopter rescues at risk in Budderoo National Park

A high-tension slacklining rope was left suspended across Gerringong Falls overnight at the end of July, causing a potential hazard for helicopter rescues.

Budderoo Track

The hazard was spotted about 30 metres up from the water's edge by a concerned visitor to Budderoo National Park who immediately reported it.

National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Area Manager Graham Bush said: "It's vitally important we get this safety message out to avoid a potential fatality during a helicopter rescue.

"The slacklining rope traversed one side of Gerringong Falls to the other and was securely fixed between 2 anchor points.

"Our major concern, if there was a search and rescue in this area, the tightly strung rope would have been extremely difficult for pilots to see and the end result could have been disastrous.

"The rope was immediately taken down and Police have been notified.

"This isn't the first-time slacklining equipment has been left in national parks across the Illawarra region. Unfortunately, some areas of the park are littered with slacklining gear.

"National parks provide wonderful opportunities and settings for a wide range of adventure and recreational activities, but slacklining is not permitted not only because of the damage it does to the environment but because it can be dangerous, for those who undertake the activity, but also for emergency services who may be called on to make difficult and dangerous rescues.

"In Budderoo National Park we've also seen shrub and undergrowth damage next to some of the slacklining anchor points. Please remember to be considerate of the park environment and leave no trace.

"If you see potential dangers in the park, please report information to NPWS or contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000," said Mr Bush.