Emergency services, organisers and revellers at the Southern 80 found it difficult to find adequate mobile phone coverage over the weekend.By Trent Horneman
Mobile phone coverage was a hot topic for organisers and emergency services during the weekend’s Southern 80 ski race.
It was difficult for phone calls and text messages to be sent or received during the event, adding to difficultly of event organisers, police and ambulance crews to relay information.
Moama Water Sports Club president Steve Robson said increasing mobile coverage was an ongoing concern for organisers.
Mr Robson said greater coverage could have been useful as emergency crews tried to locate accident sites.
‘‘Nearly every boat has a phone on board. If there is an accident, drivers could call in to race officials and relay information from the scene,’’ he said.
‘‘With poor coverage, it makes the job a little bit harder.’’
Echuca police Inspector Martin Dorman echoed Mr Robson’s sentiments, saying the poor mobile phone coverage impacted on emergency service efforts.
‘‘We do have police radio which is useful for police to relay information to each other, but mobile phones are important as it allows the public to be able to relay information to police,’’ he said.
‘‘I am very disappointed with the standard of mobile phone coverage throughout the event.’’
Mr Robson said organisers had talked to a mobile phone carrier about increasing its coverage for this year’s event.
‘‘We had spoken with them about the issue and we believed that there would be another tower available for the weekend. Whether that happened or not I am not sure,’’ he said.
Mr Dorman said police would also talk to mobile carriers about increasing coverage for future events.
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