The rescue of eight people stuck in the snow in the Alpine National Park, near Mt Hotham today has prompted Victoria Police to issue an
early reminder about snow safety.
A group of people travelling in two four-wheel drives, from Victoria, came across another two four wheel drive vehicles, from NSW, that had become bogged in the snow on Blue Rag Range Track around 4pm yesterday.
While trying to assist the stranded interstate travellers, their own vehicles became stuck and they contacted emergency services for assistance
The four-wheel drivers all had supplies and shelter so a decision was made to reach the group in the morning when conditions were safe.
Bright police and State Emergency Service volunteers travelled through heavy snow to successfully reach the groups including four adults and four children aged between six and 12 this morning, about 11am.
The NSW group were rescued but had to leave their vehicles behind as they didn’t have the appropriate equipment to travel in the snowy conditions.
The Victorian group were able to get their vehicles free and continue on to their homes in Warragul and Raymond Island.
All occupants are safe and well.
Bright Senior Sergeant Doug Incoll says it serves as a timely reminder to the community with further cold weather is expected overnight.
“We ask that all snow-goers this ski-season are equipped with car chains and a lot of patience to ensure everyone gets to the slopes in one piece,” he said.
“It’s very important that everyone who travels to the snow is well prepared before they set out.”
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.