On Sunday 9/8/2004 Falls Creek Police Station rang to seek assistance from Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club Search and Rescue group, a part of BSAR.
Three people on the summit of Mt Bogong had contacted emergency services by mobile phone requesting urgent assistance. They were all very cold and one was suffering severely from hypothermia. They had dug snow holes near Eskdale Point with blizzard conditions prevailing.
Five members from B.N.S.C. plus a ski patroller from Mt Hotham responded to the call out and met at Mt Beauty Police station.
Police vehicles transported the group to Camp Creek Gap where the ascent of Eskdale Spur began in very cold, windy conditions with snow falling.
The search group reached the people at 4:15 am. Tents and emergency procedures were organised and the hypothermic person was dug out of his snow hole which was covered by 1.3 metres of snow. At this stage this person was in a serious condition.
After a further four hours of warming the group up, the Ambulance Medi-Vac helicopter was able to land in a break in the weather and the three men were air lifted from Mt Bogong.
Weather conditions were severe and the situation for the three people requesting assistance was life threatening. Police gave this group high praise for this rescue.
Birkebeiner Seach and Rescue members attending were:
- Jim Gargan
- Paul Grusovin
- Rob Boland
- Jarrod Paine
- David Panozzo
Gordon Guest-Smith from the Mt Hotham Ski Patrol also participated.
The treatment given by Gordon and Jarrod was invaluable. Both had outdoor/wilderness first aid qualifications.
All members of the search team were subsequently awarded a National Bravery Medal in 2005 for their contributions to this search and rescue operation.
Last Updated on January 31, 2023