We are all aware how Public Health guidelines have urged the public to 'flatten the curve' of the COVID-19 virus, and our President's announcement of lockdown is a welcomed show of courageous leadership that South Africa needs at this time.
The Mountain Club of SA's Search and Rescue teams support this approach categorically.
WE URGE THE PUBLIC:
1) If engaging in some last minute pursuits this week, please engage in ultra-low-risk activities only. Please also respect closures already in place by SAN Parks and Ezemvelo.
2) Please respect the lockdown unconditionally.
Because it is the right thing to do.
...and accidents do happen, no matter how expert you think you may be.
The MCSA's search and rescue team make themselves available because we believe in the value of responsible enjoyment of the wilderness, and in supporting our outdoor colleagues and community.
Where life and limb is at stake, our members may still come to your aid.
HOWEVER, during this crisis:
- Healthcare infrastructure must be reserved for only the most critical, necessary cases.
- Your own exposure to the virus will be significantly higher while being rescued and receiving healthcare.
- Our search and rescue volunteers are not 'essential healthcare workers'. Don't be selfish!
If our members must respond to a call-out during the lockdown period, they invalidate their and their family's quarantine activities during this critical time and that may have an impact on their ability to return to work.
- S&R response may in fact be limited - our approach to incident management will be to coach and support self-rescue, or to send minimum-team responses.
We look forward to a time soon where we can all enjoy our wilderness and natural areas together, assured of the safety and well being of our loved ones at home.
MCSA Search & Rescue