Duncan Brookes

The BTL editor put some questions to Duncan Brookes, Field Organiser with Bush Search and Rescue.

What was your introduction to bushwalking?
I grew up in an environment of bushwalkers as both my parents were keen bushwalkers.  I can recall going on VMTC family base camps from a very young age.  My first VMTC day walk was when I was about 8yo, up Mt Riddell.
How did you get involved in BSAR?
My father Stuart was a founding member of “The Search and Rescue Section”, as it was then called, and he was an FO.  As a youngster I recall him going off to practice weekends and searches so I always knew of “search and rescue”.  I joined when I was 18 in 1972.  My first search was in 1974 at Stevensons Falls.  Stuart was my group leader.  Peter Dunbar the FO presumably thought that was a good idea at the time.

Skier's body found on Mount Feathertop - BSAR alert cancelled

A body of skier has been located on Mount Feathertop in the vicinity of Avalanche Gully on Wednesday 24 August 2011. 

The BSAR Alert for a possible Steep Snow and Ice call-out has now been cancelled.

A police helicopter recovered the man's body around 6.00pm.

Search for 13 year old girl at Mt Erica resolved

The missing girl has been found alive. The second callout has been cancelled. Thanks to all who have been involved or who had volunteered for the second callout.

Merv Trease, Police Liaison

Bush Search and Rescue teams with Police Search and Rescue located the missing girl on Sunday afternoon north west of Mt Erica, about 3 kilometers from Mushroom Rocks, after tracking her footprints though the snow for some time.  She was immediately evacuated by the Police Air Wing helicopter and is now recovering from her ordeal.

Peter Campbell, Field Organiser.

Bush Search and Rescue searchers at dawn after night searching

Peer support survey for members

We are undertaking a review of our Peer Support Program.  Following the review, a new training program for our BSAR Peer Supporters will be conducted.

An email has been sent to all members requesting their input and feedback on Peer Support.

Members are requested to complete this survey by Wednesday 10 August 2011.

Please also note that the email has been sent using a new email list facility that we are trialling for communication to members.

- Peter Campbell

Otways search call-out

NOTE: Missing person has been located.  This call-out is now CANCELLED

Monday 20/6/11, 18:20. A search call-out for Bush Seach and Rescue was initiated for a man missing in the Otways.  

  • Departure: 05:00 Tuesday 21 June 2011.  
  • Weather forecast: Cold change, strong winds and rain
  • Location: Near Lorne

Meet the retiring BSAR Equipment Officer – Chris Jarvis


In previous Behind The Log newsletters, we have featured members having leading roles in Bush Search and Rescue.  This time we seek Chris’ ideas as he hands the baton to John Baillie.

Search for missing deer hunter at Tomahawk Creek

Bush Search and Rescue were called out to search for a missing deer hunter in the bush at Tomahawk Hut near Mount Stirling and departed Melbourne 08:00 on Monday 6 June.  

Mon 6/6. Fourteen searchers arrived and commenced searching. Searching was very difficult due to the terrain, vegetation and weather.  Many search groups returned to base at dusk.

Tue 7/6. Ten more members joining the search on Tuesday.  Snow storms coated much of the vegetation and made the steep terrain in the region treacherous and difficult to negotiate.  Despite both extensive feature searching of nearby terrain and intensive searching near the point last seen near Tomahawk Creek, the missing person had not been found.

Wed 8/6. Searching resumed early on Wednesday after 15cm of snow fell overnight.  Sago snow and hail fell during the day with continued bad weather contributing to difficult search conditions, with the missing person still not located.

Thu 9/6. A third BSAR call-out departed Green Street Northcote at 4am with 13 more members joining the search.  They arrived at search base at 09:00 and commenced searching soon after.  Further feature searching was  conducted throughout the day, with temperatures around 6C.  The missing person was still not located.

Fri 10/6. BSAR members partipated in line searching during the day in improved weather conditions.  Unfortunately, the missing person was still not located.  All BSAR members departed the search base mid afternoon and returned to Melbourne.  Police and other services are continuing with the search.

Sat 11/6. Police finished searching on Saturday afternoon with no result.  

Mon 13/6. The search scaled down significantly with David Prideaux unfortunately not located. The location will be revisited over coming weeks prior to heavy winter snow, and again in spring if necessary.  Patrols of bush tracks in the area will continue.

Wed 15/6. A number of search and rescue personnel continue to searching with the assistance of search dogs. Police continue to ask people not to enter the area intending to continue the search on their own.

Behind The Log newsletter for May 2011 available

The May 2011 edition of Behind The Log, Bush Search and Rescue's regular newletter can be downloaded from here [link] (PDF).   There are articles on the Combienbar and Eagles Peaks searches, information about upcoming training events and an interview with Chris Jarvis who stepped down recently as our Equipment Officer.   The 2011 Annual Report and our Media Policy are also included.


Steep Snow and Ice Training 9-10 July 2011 and Dryland Training day 26 June

This year's Steep Snow and Ice training is being held on Mount Stirling on the 9-10 of July 2011 and will focus on steep snow and ice rescue skills in an alpine environment.  A Dryland Training day covering theory and some off-snow exercises will be held in Melbourne on 26 June 2011.  More information and registration details.

Missing walker found and rescued near Mt Shillinglaw

An experienced hiker who set off a distress beacon in Victoria’s alps yesterday afternoon was found safe on Friday 13 May 2011.

Police found the 30-year-old Alphington man at 8.20am on Friday, 19 hours after he set off the distress signal on rugged Mount Shillinglaw, about 60 kilometres south of Mansfield.

Senior Sergeant Lyn Holland, from Mansfield police, said the man had become disoriented as freezing temperatures and snow descended on the mountain about 1pm on Thursday.

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