A history of outdoor tragedy

cole/ January 20, 2010/ OUTDOOR SAFETY

AAP General News (Australia)
06-19-2000
Vic: Father and son spend two cold nights lost in bush

MELBOURNE, June 19 AAP – A Melbourne father and son who spent two nights lost in near-freezing
conditions in dense bushland were found alive today.

Relieved relatives cheered when they heard that a helicopter had winched the pair to
safety after spotting them in thick scrub in the Yarra Ranges National Park, north-east
of Melbourne, about 12.40pm (AEST).

“Both (were) obviously covered in cuts and scratches,” Victoria Police pilot Darryl
Jones told Channel 10 News.

AAP General News (Australia)
11-23-2009
Vic: Brumby catcher survives three nights lost in bush

By Melissa Jenkins

MELBOURNE, Nov 23 AAP – A brumby catcher, who spent three nights lost in Victoria’s
rugged high country before being rescued, was knocked unconscious when his horse clashed
with the stallion he was chasing.

The 35-year-old Gippsland man was last seen pursuing a stallion in the state’s high
plains on Friday about 7pm (AEDT).

Fellow Parks Victoria brumby catchers raised the alarm on Saturday when they failed
to find him in Alpine National Park in the state’s northeast.

  A City child lost in the Bush.The La Trobe Journal | March 22, 2004 | Torney, Kim | COPYRIGHT 2004 State Library of Victoria Foundation. This material is published under license from the publisher through the Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan.  All inquiries regarding rights should be directed to the Gale Group. (Hide copyright information) Copyright

Chopper search for woman lost in bush

Posted Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:49pm AEST

Police are using a helicopter to search for a woman missing in bushland at Mount Macedon, north-west of Melbourne.

The 49-year-old woman went missing at about 2:00pm.

Police have been able to contact the woman on a bad mobile phone line, but cannot work out where she is.

Police say the woman is wearing a green jumper.

We’re idiots: youths rescued from bush

Two teenagers who were missing in rugged bush in Victoria’s south-west after trying to sneak into a music festival without tickets say they are “idiots”.

The pair, Harry Wild and Ryan Hurley, both 19, who were reunited with their parents on Thursday, said they had been trying to find a back way into the Falls Music Festival, near Lorne on the Great Ocean Road.

But their plans went horribly awry when the pair lost mobile phone contact and ended up getting lost for three days.

A police helicopter spotted the boys, who are from Mildura in the state’s north, early on Thursday.

Rescuers trekked 400 metres through thick terrain to meet them.

Mr Wild said they were foolish to try and sneak into the festival.

“We’re idiots, and we know we’re idiots at the moment. We think we are so silly,” he told reporters soon after the pair emerged from the bush.

The two men huddled together through three cold, wet nights.

“Very close. Very close. It was nice and cosy,” Mr Hurley said.

Mr Wild said: “All night. All night. I had my hands inside his little jumper to keep my hands warm.”

Police inspector Bill Weatherly, who helped co-ordinate the search, said the youths were relieved when rescuers arrived.

“For a couple of boys that have been out in the bush for three days they are in remarkable condition actually,” he told AAP.

“They were certainly cold, one of them had a windcheater that was wet, but inside he said it was quite warm, the other guy had a flannel shirt on.

“You could see that they are tired but the two boys they are in great nick.”

Insp Weatherly said police drove the youths’ parents to a track near where they were found.

He said it was fantastic to see sons and parents reunited.

“Very emotional a lot of hugs, tears from the mums and even from the dads,” Insp Weatherly said.

The boys had done the right thing by remaining in the one spot, he said.

“They basically stayed in the one position from the time they lost communication with us on Tuesday afternoon,” Insp Weatherly said.

“They just walked up and down from a little creek bed if they needed a drink.”

After receiving a check-up on the track the boys were taken to the Lorne police station to be fed and de-briefed.

Police lost mobile phone contact with the boys on Tuesday.

More than 60 people including police, State Emergency Service volunteers and local bushwalkers were involved in the search.

Insp Weatherly said he did not think the boys would be made to pay for the search.

“I don’t believe we are looking at anything other than re-uniting two kids with their families, these things happen.”

Harry Wild’s father Ron told AAP on Wednesday his son had lost his wallet with his festival ticket in it earlier in the week.

Climber rescued following Vic cliff fall

A 42-year-old rock climber is in hospital with neck and back injuries after a 13-hour rescue operation in remote bush.

The Port Melbourne man was rescued from a narrow ledge half way up a 150m rock face in western Victoria’s Grampians mountain range after he fell about 11.15am (AEDT) Sunday.

He did not arrive at Royal Melbourne Hospital until 1am Monday.

The man could not be winched out by helicopter because of his precarious position.

Instead, search and rescue teams lowered him in a stretcher to the ground and then carried him four kilometres to a four wheel drive, which then took him to an air ambulance.

The rescue, estimated to have costs tens of thousands of dollars, involved six Victoria Police search and rescue members, 30 State Emergency Service members, four Parks Victoria rangers, the Mt Arapiles rescue team, two helicopters, and a local ambulance.

The climber is now in Royal Melbourne Hospital in a stable condition.

Man impaled on tree in abseiling mishap

20:07 AEST Sat Nov 10 2007

AAP

A man is lucky to be alive after he was impaled on a tree branch while abseiling down a steep cliff face on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

The 27-year-old man from Toowoomba was abseiling rapidly down a 100 metre cliff face at Mount Tinbeerwah, near Noosa, when the accident occurred just before 1pm (AEST) on Saturday.

He is recovering in Nambour Hospital with serious injuries after a tricky hour-long rescue operation to extricate him from the rocky and dense bush terrain.

Energex Rescue Helicopter intensive care paramedic Jeff Bradfield said it was one of the most difficult rescue operations he had performed in more than 16 years as a paramedic.

 
 
 

“He descended really quickly and on his way down had a tree branch basically impale him,” Mr Bradfield said.

“It entered (from behind his back) and cut him out just below his belly button.

“We had to use bolt cutters to actually cut the part of the tree branch away so that we could fit him into the winch stretcher and then winch him out into the rescue helicopter and fly him to hospital.”

Mr Bradfield said the climber was lucky to be alive.

“From talking to one of the emergency physicians at Nambour Hospital, they said initially it looks as though it has missed most of the vital organs in his lower abdomen,” Mr Bradfield said.

“He is extremely lucky.

“It was one of the most interesting cases I have done in 16.5 years and even on the helicopter it is quite a unique case. This is literally a one-in-a-million chance of happening.”

A friend of the abseiler, Dave Beasley, said he had followed the rescue closely.

“We were on speaker phone, we could hear everything he was saying,” Mr Beasley told the Nine Network.

“I was actually in the process of telling some people at the top how safe abseiling is when it happened.”

A BASE jumper has died in the NSW Blue Mountains after landing in trees.

Emergency services were called to the Grand Canyon jump on Grand Canyon Rd, near Evans lookout, just before 9am (AEDT) on Saturday.

A NSW Ambulance Service spokeswoman said the man was stuck in the tree canopy about 15 metres off the ground after making a jump.

Paramedics and an ambulance helicopter were sent to the scene.

“The paramedics were able to get to him and they confirmed that he was deceased,” the spokeswoman said.

Police said the man, 30, from Sydney’s northern beaches, was with a group of about nine people at the time of the accident and witnesses were being interviewed.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to

Six canyoners missing in Blue Mountains

20:32 AEST Wed Jan 13 2010

3 days 15 hours 22 minutes ago

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Jan 17, 2010

Emergency services will resume a search on Thursday morning for a group of six canyoners missing in the NSW Blue Mountains.

The group – two men aged 25 and 27, two women aged 25 and 27 and two children aged 13 and 15 – failed to return from a canyoning trip to the Wollangambe Canyon in the Blue Mountains National Park on Tuesday.

A concerned relative called police after the group failed to return as scheduled on Tuesday afternoon and could not be contacted by phone.

Police have been told some of the group are experienced canyoners and all six have adequate clothing.

An operation, involving paramedics, Rural Fire Service officers and a helicopter, was carried out on Wednesday and 40 personnel will return to the area at 8am (AEDT) on Thursday to resume the search.

Avalanche fatality ‘just bad luck’

21:29 AEST Sun Aug 17 2008

517 days 13 hours 28 minutes ago

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Jan 17, 2010

A young skier killed under an avalanche of snow and ice high in the Kosciuszko National Park was the victim of “bad luck”, an experienced rescuer said.

The skier was one of three men to die in separate skiing accidents in the Perisher Valley area on Sunday, police said.

The man killed in the avalanche was a 24-year-old from the Blue Mountains town of Wentworth Falls.

He was one of five people skiing at Blue Lake, near Charlotte Pass, when it’s believed a collapsed segment of hardened snow known as an ice cornice gave way.

Emergency service crews were called in shortly after 1.30pm (AEST).

The area is a known ice-climbing site and it was initially thought the man was a climber.

His body was found about 5.45pm, police said.

Snowy Mountains State Emergency Services worker Les Threlfo said that leaving aside the Thredbo landslide, which killed 18 people in 1997, this was the first death in “30-odd years” from an avalanche in the Snowy Mountains.

“It’s very icy where the skiers have been,” Mr Threlfo told AAP.

“The area has an ice base and the snow sometimes isn’t stable.

“I’d say he’s been there, it (the snow and ice) has rolled and he’s gone.

“It was a particularly good day up here. This is just bad luck, I presume.”

The man’s body had been recovered, he said.

Eight members of the SES’s alpine rescue team, using four skidoos, arrived at the site mid-afternoon to search for the man.

They were joined by NSW Police members and a NSW Ambulance special casualty access team.

A rescue helicopter was at the scene within minutes of the alarm being raised.

Police will prepare a report for the coroner.

A 59-year-old man from the Sydney suburb of St Ives died when he skied into a tree on a run at Blue Cow called Outer Limits about 12.15pm, police said.

Just three hours later a second man, 48, of the Snowy Mountains town of Jindabyne, also died when he hit a tree while skiing.

He had successfully completed the steep Olympic run but lost control soon after.