Mt Stirling Ski Patrol wins award for a search and rescue operation 26 Nov 2015

The Mt Stirling Ski Patrol team, comprising of David McCoombe, Michael Stapleton and Vincent Antony, received a certificate of commendation from Victoria Police on Tuesday 24 November, for their efforts in assisting a search and rescue operation that took place in July 2014.

On 12 July 2014, the three patrollers assisted Sergeant Mark Fabris and two paramedics from Mansfield by conducting a search in hazardous and inhospitable conditions for a missing motorcycle rider in the alpine area of Mt Stirling. The motorcyclist left his holiday house in Tolmie at 11am on 12 July 2014, and headed out on the trails for a quick ride. The motorcyclist, who is diabetic, soon became lost in State Forest adjacent to Mt Stirling and quickly ran out of fuel, water food and insulin. Police became aware that the motorcyclist was missing at around 6pm and quickly assembled a search and rescue team. The search continued until 3.45am.

Following an exhausting 10 hour search effort, challenged by fallen trees, snow and adverse conditions, the motorcyclist was found alive at 4am, mildly hypothermic with a body temperature of 32. The rider was transported back to Telephone Box Junction on Mt Stirling by the search and rescue crew, and was immediately taken by ambulance to the Mansfield Hospital. The expert knowledge of the area by the Patrollers and experience in the alpine environment was key to the successful location and rescue of the man.

Mt Buller Mt Stirling Resort Management Chief Executive Officer, John Huber, said of the search and rescue operation “The courage, determination, team work and professionalism of the search and rescue team all came together in one massive effort, with an incredible and lifesaving outcome. We’re extremely proud of the entire team, and wish to congratulate David, Michael and Vincent on their fantastic achievement. It’s people like this who make up our organisation and we’re thrilled to have witnessed a wonderful result in saving a life.”

Mt Stirling Operations Manager, Louise Perrin, said of the award “I’m so pleased with the outcome and am very proud of the teamwork and skills displayed by the team in such challenging circumstances. It’s fantastic to see that all three team members were recognised for their incredible achievements.”

For further information on the search and rescue operation, including information on the award, please contact Victoria Police Senior Sergeant Lyn Holland on 03 5775 2555.

Media contact:
Kate Monahan
Media & Marketing Officer
Mt Buller Mt Stirling Resort Management
T: 03 5777 6077
M: 0411 330 383