Shae Hall, Nimbin
His friends, the family and the community at large are sorely disappointed in the lack of response and assistance from the authorities in the search for Damien Roadley at present.
We believe that the authorities have taken the stance that the odds were against his favor of survival, and as such withdrew their active search a mere two days after his disappearance. Although its conceded that those odds against are now increasing every day that he is unaccounted for, to make such an assumption a mere couple of days after his disappearance seems unbelievable to his friends and family. Even if the probability of survival is low, the mere possibility should elicit a large search effort from the professionals, as it has from individuals within his community.
The statement released yesterday by police painted the picture that there was a massive contingent of emergency personnel attending the search in the first two days, whereas by all accounts that have been relayed to those involved in the private searches, the numbers involved was minimal, no dogs had been deployed, although they have been promised on several occasions with the latest report that will have dogs there ‘at the end of the week, or early next week’.
We understand the risks involved and we are very grateful to those who were deployed in those early days but we implore those in-charge of the management of such valuable resources to redeploy a contingent of skilled personnel to assist the community. As although there are many eager locals helping in the efforts, risking their own lives, given the dangers involved the task it should be handled by professionals who are trained in such endeavors and who are properly equipped.
Police have been claiming lack of resources, we would like to know what their search and rescue resources are tied up on that takes priority over a young man’s life? He is a well loved community member and a doting father of three young children. Damien’s family and friends desperately want to see his safe return. If as they claim they are so under resourced in the area of saving lives then there is a massive disconnect from their priorities and the needs of communities that they serve. Surely even bringing in assistance from external jurisdictions should not take this long. The community have managed to organise their own professional climber who left the blue mountains at 4am this morning and will be on the ground tomorrow to assist in the efforts, but more professionals are desperately needed.