BSAR call-out to Wellington Plains to assist school group, October 2012

Thursday 11/10/2012.  Bush Search and Rescue was called out for a 10pm departure from Melbourne.

Fri 12/10.  18 BSAR members travelled to Licola to render assistance. The BSAR group returned to Melbourne at 4pm.

Victoria experienced unseasonal cold winter conditions, including snow in alpine regions.  A high school group of 11 students and 3 staff was stranded by bad weather and snow while on a bushwalk in the Wellington Plains region of Gippsland.  The group was successfully evacuated by the SES and Victoria Police using oversnow transport.

Additional information

The group used a satellite phone to contact Police.  This enabled them to communicate the condition of their party and receive advice on how to best handle the situation.  The ability to communicate using a satellite phone provides significant advantages compared to using a PLB or Spot.
While cold temperatures and snow were unusual for the time of year,  the weather event was forecast.

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