Father and son rescued in Avon Wilderness

A FATHER and son were rescued after becoming stranded in the Avon Wilderness Park for two days.

Police were notified the pair was snowed in and unable to leave Millers Hut, near Mount Wellington, on Monday.

Because of the extreme weather and expected snowfall over the next few days, a rescue plan was discussed with Police Search and Rescue, Parks Victoria and the State Emergency Service.

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 9pm on Tuesday night, which is about 20 kilometres from the pair’s location.

After setting off at 6am Wednesday morning, the rescue team made the four-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, and Victoria Police has reminded motorists that all vehicles heading into the snowfields were 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 have been encouraged to visit the website before 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 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.