2019 Victorian Backcountry Festival at Mount Hotham

2019 Backcountry Ski festival

BSAR provided three skill shares at the Backcountry Festival at Mount Hotham on September 7 and 8 2019.

The festival is a grassroots, volunteer run event which aims to provide a safe place for new skiers and riders to explore beyond the ski runs while also providing a gathering for the backcountry tribe.

The program had 28 sessions on offer covering everything from cross country and tele skiing, split boarding, alpine touring, to avalanche safety, snow shoeing and fat tyre bikes.

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BSAR is 70 years old

BSAR is 70 years old on 6th May 2019.

BSAR search group near Marysville, 1952
BSAR search group in 1952 near Marysville, soon after BSAR was formed

We don’t know the names or the clubs of the 11 volunteer bushwalkers who left the Russell Street Police Headquarters in 2 trucks early on Friday 6 May 1949 for Port Welshpool. There they boarded a fishing ketch and were landed on the east coast of Wilsons Promontory to join the large search for a missing bushwalker.

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Vale Bill Brand

Bill Brand, former Officer in Charge of the Search and Rescue Squad, passed away on the morning of Monday the 17th of September 2018.  Bill Brand was one of the founding members of the Search and Rescue Squad and served at all ranks up to Inspector until his retirement in the mid-1980’s.

Bill Brand in uniform

Bill Brand was a great friend and supporter of BSAR.

The funeral service was held at Heritage Funerals, 733 Boronia Rd Wantirna, at 10 am on Tuesday the 2nd October 2018.

Eulogy 

2 October 2018, by Duncan Brookes

Thank you to the Brand family for the opportunity to pay tribute to Bill on behalf of the bushwalkers; “The Bushies”.

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Victorian Backcountry Ski Festival at Falls Creek 1-2 Sep 2018

BSAR Ski training

I will be representing BSAR at the Backcountry Ski Festival at Falls Creek this weekend 1 – 2 September.

BSAR members participating are free to wear BSAR safety clothing if they wish. 

You can view the extensive program of events and book online here

The program on Saturday includes intros to telemarking, backcountry snow shoe tours, snow camping, navigation and beacon searching with tours in the afternoon

The program on Sunday includes resort skiing (you’ll need a lift ticket)  and 4-5 hour backcountry tours.

I hope to see you there!

Regards, Peter Campbell
Convener, Bush Search and Rescue Victoria

Five feet under

2017 Norway avalanche rescue

A remarkable story of a major avalanche, burial, rescue and survival in Norway.  Great work by Norwegian avalanche rescue teams.  [Five feet under]

Photo: First rescue workers have arrived at the avalanche site. They search alongside the skiing party. 

 

BSAR Club Contacts function has ceased

Since BSAR’s inception in 1949 we have maintained a network of Club Contacts whose role is to participate in calling out club members active with BSAR to search for missing persons.

Often working late at night, our Club Contact’s dedication and contribution to BSAR’s success as an emergency service cannot be overstated. Club Contacts were last used during the protracted search at Mt Dom Dom in 2009.

However, over recent years technology has evolved to provide more efficient electronic methods to call out members, which means the role of Club Contact is now no longer required.

I would like to extend our thanks and appreciation for your commitment and service to BSAR as a Club Contact.

BSAR will continue to use our automated call-out system. If necessary, our Police Liaison Officers can also use a “fifty most active members” list to conduct a manual call-out.

Many Club Contacts have ongoing roles within BSAR including Searchers, Delegates and Peer Supporters. We look forward to their continued contribution in those roles.

For those who have only been operating as a Club Contact, we hope you will also remain connected with BSAR.

Once again, I would like to thank all Club Contacts for their significant contribution to BSAR.

Peter Campbell
Convener

Peter Briggs AO leads successful search for missing submarine AE1

BSAR Field Organiser and Retired Rear Admiral Peter Briggs lead the Find AE1 team that found submarine HMAS AE1 103 years after it disappeared during World War 1.

The fate of HMAS AE1 had been one of the navy’s most enduring puzzles, sparking 13 different retrieval attempts since 1914.

The 800-tonne vessel was discovered under 300 metres of water near Duke of York Island in Papua New Guinea.

Casing of HMAS AE1 submarine wreck
Casing of HMAS AE1 in waters off the Duke of York Island group in Papua New Guinea. Photograph: Fugro Survey/AAP

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Our new BSAR website has gone live

Our new mobile-friendly website is now live with  a simplified menu structure and a fresh look.

Some content has been added to our BSAR Manual which will undergo further revisions.

You can provide us with feedback on the new website here.

Peter Campbell, BSAR Convener