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Bushwalker rescued after near 24-hour search

Written by on May 11, 2024

A lost bushwalker has been rescued after spending a rain-drenched and freezing night in Sydney’s Blue Mountains.

The 38-year-old woman became lost while hiking near Valley Rd in Katoomba on Friday. She was reported missing at about 11.30am Friday, igniting a frantic search involving 15 NSW State Emergency Services (SES) members and NSW Police.

Miraculously, she was found at about 10.30am on Saturday, without any injuries.

NSW SES Bush Search and Rescue Deputy Unit Commander, Senior Group Officer Caro Ryan said one SES volunteer, who was also a paramedic, carried out an initial assessment of the woman, who was able to walk out with rescuers.

“We located her in bushland near Katoomba and helped warm her up because she had been out in the cold and rain overnight,” she said.

Senior Group Officer Ryan credited the experienced team, who carried out the search in challenging conditions and heavy rain.

“Our members are experienced bushwalkers, canyoners and rock climbers who bring specialised skills in remote and rugged areas,” she said.

“We are highly trained in search techniques, remote communications and have extensive knowledge of the popular walking tracks in the Blue Mountains.

“We know the areas people often get lost, the mountain passes and the tricky pinches.”

Overnight temperatures around Katoomba can fall to 9C, however the wind and rain can bring the apparent temperature to about 7.6C. The area also recorded about 10mm in the 24-hours to 9am on Saturday.

It follows as NSW is drenched a widespread falls across the state, with areas in the state’s south coast and Illawarra region rocked by up to 200mm of rain.

The Bureau of Meteorology also warned possible thunderstorm could hit the state’s northeast, and even Sydney on Sunday afternoon.

Conditions are expected to ease from Monday, with less rainfall and no thunderstorms forecast.

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