Victoria Police Search and Rescue Squad and State Emergencey Service personnel have rescued a father and son after becoming stranded in the Avon Wilderness Park for two days.
Police were notified that the pair was snowed in and unable to leave Millers Hut, near Mount Wellington, on Monday 27 May.
Due to the extreme weather and expected snowfall over the next few days, a rescue plan was discussed with Police SAR, Parks Victoria and the SES.
The father and son were informed to set-up camp within the hut, but know that help was on the way.
A staging area was then set-up by Parks Victoria the rescue team, comprising of police and SES personnel, made their way up the mountain.
They arrived at the Surveyors Huts about 9.00pm on Tuesday night, which is approximately 20km from the pair’s location.
After setting off at 6am this morning, the rescue team made the 4 hour trip to Millers Hut using two Oversnow All Terrain Argo machines.
By 10.30am the team reached the pair and began to evacuate them through snow packed trails.
The father and son, and all the rescuers arrived safely at the staging area about 12.30pm.
Senior Constable Joel Magno-Thornton of the Search and Rescue Squad thanked all the members of Park Victoria, SES and local police for achieving a great outcome.
“This is a timely reminder for anyone who is planning on travelling in the high country to please go prepared, and check and understand the incoming weather forecasts” he said.
The official snow season begins on the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend (Friday 7 June onwards) and Victoria Police has issued further information to help drivers keep safe on the roads:
• All vehicles heading into the snowfields are required to carry snow chains and fit them where directed.
• Falls Creek, Mt Hotham and Mt Buller resorts all have snow chain specific information on their websites and members of the public are encouraged to visit the website prior to attending to find out the up to date requirements, as each resort is slightly different.
• Victoria Police and other authorised officers will be actively conducting
random roadblocks both at the resorts and roads leading to the resorts to
ensure snow chain compliance.
• Vehicles that are found not to be carrying snow chains as required may be fined and not allowed to proceed further until snow chains are obtained.
• Snow chains are available for hire at the town centres and other locations leading into the snow fields.
• Knowledge of how to fit snow chains is also required and if in doubt ask the hirer to show you.