HAMNET Report 13 August 2017

Keith Lowes ZS5WFD says that the route of the 18,6Km run, and 6,5Km fun walk, of the Kloof Conservancy Three Falls Trail Run offers magnificent views of the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve, including its rich fauna and flora, as well as the Kloof Falls, Uve Falls, and mPhiti Falls.  Hamnet provided 14 operators this year to assist with the event which started at 06H30 on Sunday 6th August 2017 from Forest View Primary School in Waterfall.  306 runners entered the event and were joined by 41 walkers. A total of 294 runners finished the race, making for 12 that did not complete the course for various reasons.

Communications were via 145.500 or 550 simplex as well as the 145.625 Highway Amateur Radio Club repeater.  Keith had a link to the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife repeater which a number of other marshals were using.

At approximately 09H50 a report was received from Jon Sargood who was a volunteer with Rescuetech and also running the race, of a female runner with a suspected broken ankle that required assistance.  Brad ZS5Z was requested to proceed to the location to establish a direct communications link from the scene.  Information to hand was that the patient would be unable to make her own way out and Rescuetech would be required to assist in carrying her out in a Stokes Basket Stretcher.  Meditech had already been notified and despatched to the scene.

Rescuetech’s Chris Williams (ZS5CJW) was notified and requested to mobilise his team to a point approximately 600m down from the Kloof Falls picnic site.  It took approximately 1 hour to stabilise and safely bring the patient to the picnic site where Meditech’s ambulance was waiting to transport the patient to hospital.

Keith extends his sincere thanks to all that assisted with the event to ensure a successful outcome for all involved.  It was a great opportunity to forge good working relationships with all of the emergency services involved.

There are lots more trail run events taking place in the Western Cape these next four weeks. Yesterday saw the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve hosting the Wildrunner Cape Winter Trail race at Kleinmond. Alister ZS1OK managed the six operators who helped shepherd the runners, and all seems to have gone well.

Next weekend, the17-20th August, the third iSimangaliso Mountain Bike Ride takes place, this year starting in Mkuze Game Reserve and going through Phinda Game Reserve (both home to the Big Five), passing Lake Sibaya and ending at Lake St Lucia.

Hamnet KZN will be providing the Communications, linking the Event Control, the JOC, 2 High Site Relays, 3 Sweeper Vehicles, the Mkuze & Phinda Rangers, a Spotter Chopper to look out for any dangerous game along the Route, 2 Paramedics and the Ambulance!

We greatly look forward to hearing and perhaps reading about this event on the HAMNET webpage. Thanks to Dave Holliday ZS5HN for that news.

Then, next Sunday the 20th August, Peter ZS1PDE is organising the communications during the Helderberg Mountain Challenge, in Somerset West. Four operators are needed for this race, and we wish him luck with the undertaking.

Alister ZS1OK is looking for six HAMNET operators to assist him at the Sanlam Cape Town Peace Trail Run on Saturday the 17th September. This forms part of the multi-day Sanlam Cape Town Marathon event. The two races he is working for, are the 22 and 12km trail runs to be run on the 17th, along Signal Hill and Lions Head before descending to finish at the Green Point Athletics track. If you haven’t volunteered your help yet, please consider doing so.

Finally, in the Western Cape early Spring, we have the Marloth Mountain Challenge run outside Swellendam on Sunday the 24th September. This is a big race, needing fourteen operators, but the weekend is a long one, making it easy for the radio operators to get into position on Sunday morning early, and overnighting on Sunday evening before coming back to Cape Town on Monday. Please volunteer your services to Grant ZS1GS if you haven’t already done so.

From the ARRL News Letter this week, we have news that the Hurricane Watch Net activated for Tropical Cyclone Franklin.

The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) activated on August 9 to keep an eye on then-Tropical Cyclone Franklin — which was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane when it made landfall between Tampico and Veracruz, Mexico, early on August 10.

“Reports from Mexico were few and far between,” HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, reported afterward. “We did hear from hams in Campeche and Puebla. Our Spanish operators did a great job in working to find reporting stations on the Mexican 40-meter emergency nets, but we were never able to find stations on the air or else we received interference from elsewhere. During the day, 20-meter propagation was not that good, but we had members in various locations throughout the US, Caribbean, and Central America that were able to reach the affected area.” After an 11-hour activation, HWN suspended operations. “We will continue working to encourage radio amateurs throughout the Caribbean to get on the air and participate whenever a hurricane threatens their area,” Graves said.

The net was monitoring 14.325 MHz on August 10 to gather post-storm reports.

The VoIP Hurricane Net reported that it was informally active from about 1200 UTC on August 9 until 0600 UTC on August 10.

Franklin is now weakening rapidly over the mountains of Mexico and is expected to produce total rainfall of 4 to 8 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches possible. — Thanks to Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, and Rob Macedo, KD1CY and the ARRL News Letter.

This Dave Reece ZS1DFR reporting for HAMNET in South Africa.