TWO unlucky hikers were airlifted out of the bush near Licola at the weekend after their camping trip took a turn for the worst.
On Friday afternoon one of the hikers, a Melbourne man in his 50s, injured his knee near Mt Clear, north of Licola.
Maffra SES alpine rescue team members worked together with police and Helimed-1 to eventually winch the man out just before sunset.
The other bushwalker, a man aged in his 30s, decided to camp out overnight in the bush, with the intention of making the eight kilometre walk back to his car the next day.
However, when he began his return trip on Saturday, he became dehydrated and hypothermic, and called for help. A Maffra SES team was deployed, along with two four wheel drives and an all terrain vehicle to assist the local four wheel drive ambulance and police.
Inclement weather hampered attempts to extract the man via helicopter, and access to the area was extremely difficult because of boggy road conditions and fallen trees.
The four wheel drive ambulance was unable to reach the area while the SES team battled on with the ambulance officers and police.
The road party was still some distance from the area when the man was eventually rescued by the Victoria Police helicopter and transported to Mansfield hospital when the weather cleared, about 2.20pm Saturday afternoon.
Police said the incident served as a reminder of the importance of being prepared for worst-case scenarios when heading into the High Country.