It is indeed a tragic time for those affected by these bushfires. The Board of Bushwalking Victoria have already agreed to make an immediate donation on behalf of its members as a start. Further support is still under discussion.
Two walkers were reported missing in the forest near Lorne on Tuesday 30 December 2008. Fifteen Bush Search and Rescue members joined Police Search and Rescue, the SES and Parks Victoria on the search on Wednesday 31/12/2008.
Our four teams deployed on their search tasks late on Wednesday afternoon, camping out for the night. We targeted a search area near where the walkers were last seen off the Mount Sabine Road.
After an early start on Thursday morning, one of our search teams located a campsite the two men had vacated on Monday night and called the Police helicopter to the grid reference. The helicopter searched in the direction to the west indicated by the missing walker’s trail on the ground, and found them waving in a small clearing near their second campsite. The helicopter dropped an orange smoke flare at their location, which our teams used to locate the missing men, who were both in remarkably good condition. The closest team, BSAR1 who had found the first campsite, travelled about 300 metres to reach them.
Police activated a callout early on Monday November 3 2008 for Bush Search and Rescue to assist with a search for two lost people missing overnight on Mount Buffalo. The missing people were located later in the morning so the callout was cancelled.
Fifty Bush Search and Rescue members and prospective members participated in the recent training weekend, an excellent response given the clash with a very good snow season and Father’s Day.
As is now “traditional” for our off-snow training, on Saturday we joined the VRA’s 12 hour rogaine. Rogaining is the ideal training for our members as it is such a close match to what is expected during a search; accurate off track navigation in a small group.
Bush Search and Rescue’s annual Steep Snow and Ice training was held on Mount Buller’s West Ridge on the 19 & 20 July 2008.
On Saturday we travelled in a Police bus to the base of the Mount Buller’s West Ridge. We ascended followed the route to the West Ridge in overcast conditions to a high campsite in the snow on ridge, then spent the afternoon reviewing and practice skills including safe travel in steep snow and/or ice terrain. We traversed under the frozen waterfalls on Mt Bullers North East face.
Bush Search and Rescue participated in the extensive bush search at Dom Dom Saddle in March 2008. During the last week of March BSAR joined Police, VicSES, Country Fire Authority, SAR Dogs Australia, Parks Victoria and Melbourne Water in the large-scale search for 57yo Warren Meyer who went missing from a four-hour bushwalk on the morning of Sunday 23 Mar 2008 in the Dom Dom saddle area, NE of Melbourne.
Mr Meyer was an experienced bushwalker and was equipped with a GPS, mobile phone, water and some snack bars.
A total of forty-four members from various clubs, responded to three callouts over the four days of our commitment. Members line-searched the often dense, damp understorey of the tall forests looking for any signs of the missing person.
Sixteen BSAR members responded to the search for a Scottish tourist, William Bliss, 19, who become lost in the Sabine Falls area north of Apollo Bay in the Otway Ranges. He became lost on the afternoon of Tuesday April 3, 2007.
A search of more than 40 Police, SES, Parks and other volunteers was organised on the Wednesday. As he was not found during that day BSAR was placed on standby and a called out initiated later in the evening ready for a 0430 transport to the search area on the Thursday morning.