Two bushwalkers reported missing in the Blue Mountains have been located overnight.
The men – aged 69 and 81 – are believed to have commenced a bushwalk from Dunphy’s campground in the Megalong Valley on Wednesday (15 February 2023), telling a friend they intended to return on Friday (17 February 2023).
When the younger man failed to keep an appointment on Sunday (19 February 2023), officers from the Blue Mountains Police Area Command were notified and commenced a search for the missing men.
A command post was established at Dunphy’s campground with a co-ordinated multi-agency search commenced – involving officers from Blue Mountains PAC, Police Rescue Squad, PolAir, Rural Fire Service, NSW Ambulance Special Operations and the State Emergency Services Bush Search and Rescue and an aircraft from Melbourne provided by Australian Maritime Search & Rescue (AMSAR), which has heat-detecting capability on board.
About 1am today (Tuesday 21 February 2023), the rescue party – comprising of two officers from the Blue Mountains Police Rescue Squad and two members of the NSW Ambulance Special Operations Team – located the men near Mobbs Swamp.
The men are reported to be in good health and are being escorted out of bushland, expected to return to Dunphy’s campground about 6.45am.
Neither man have suffered any injuries, however, will be assessed by paramedics.
Blue Mountains Police Area Command Detective Inspector Michael Marinello said that it is always pleasing to locate bushwalkers safe and well, but it is also a timely reminder for bushwalkers to have an appropriate communication plan.
“No matter how experienced a bushwalker may be, it is imperative that they have with them all the relevant safety equipment including suitable clothing, food and water, said Inspector Marinello.
“Another important aspect are communication devices. Whenever heading on a bushwalk, people should have a fully-charged mobile phone, along with additional charging devices. Taking a GPS enabled Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) will help rescuers should you find yourself in difficulty.
“It is also important to let someone know your intended route, what tracks you are taking and your estimated return time. If there is any change to the original plan, then tell someone,” Inspector Marinello said.
“Please ensure you register your trip with the appropriate agency, such as the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and think before you trek – know what the weather conditions will be like, know your physical abilities and make your bushwalk a safe one,” Inspector Marinello said.