Gregory Rescue Operation

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Three stranded people were rescued from the Hutt Lagoon / Pink Lake area in Gregory, south of Kalbarri, yesterday, Saturday 1 June 2024, after a ‘HELP’ message they wrote in the sand was detected.
 
About 3:00pm, Air Traffic Control notified WA Police Force they had received information from the pilot of a plane that they had seen a ‘HELP’ message written in sand about 27 nautical miles south of Kalbarri, in the vicinity of Pink Lake, with a stationary vehicle seen nearby.
 
Officers from Kalbarri Police and Mid West – Gascoyne Traffic were deployed to the area to establish the nature of the emergency. About half an hour later a second report was received, advising a person on board another plane had seen the same distress message.
 
WA Police Force requested the assistance of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), who had their Perth-based Challenger jet in the area. The AMSA Challenger jet flew over the area and was able to establish a vehicle was bogged, but did not appear to be damaged. The GPS coordinates of the stranded vehicle were provided to the police officers heading to the area.
 
The attending officers drove as close to the area they could, before the incoming tide on the beach side and the rough terrain on the other side of the stranded group prevented them from driving any further. They proceeded on foot across scrub and the dry lake to where the vehicle – a white Holden Colorado - was and located the three occupants of the vehicle uninjured.
 
It was established the occupants of the vehicle – three teenagers - had been stranded there for six hours and did not have any 4WD recovery equipment or an emergency beacon. Several other people who had become aware of the situation were also at the scene, however they also had to approach the vehicle on foot and were unable to recover the vehicle.
 
The stranded trio were driven to Lucky Bay, where they were reunited with family/friends. The vehicle was left in-situ for recovery at a later time.