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News Couple lost on Mt Buffalo

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by emkae, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I am certainly no expert on tracking dogs but I have been involved in some familiaristation work with tracking dogs which included ground and free search. Dog breeds vary in their ability to pick up scents but they all pick up scents the same way. When you walk over ground you crush plants and insects and that is what the dog tracks on the ground and it is usually on lead. That scent will go quickly and especially after rain which I believe there was. The dog deployment was in fact 2 days after the search started not one day so I am sorry for that error but I doubt that delay would have changed the outcome using these dogs. The front line Police dogs in Australia are not the best dogs for tracking. We mostly use Shepherds and their ability to pick up scent is not as good as other breeds. They are a good compromise for the varied tasks they do which includes man handling. Police realise this and have formed teams of specialised dog squads which pick up bombs, drugs etc better than Shepherds but they do not do any man handling work and are not as threatening (confronting) to the average person as Shepherds can be. The front line Police dogs also do not understand the difference between searching for an offender and searching for a missing child.

    Off lead air searches are far better when the trail is old. Animals such as wombats could also affect a ground scent and give false trails. A dog off lead will cover a large area, usually in a zig zag left and right of the handler, until it finds a scent to follow and then the zig zag will become smaller and more direct. Hope this helps your understanding.
     
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  2. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    This thread should make us all rethink out personal survival kits and remember to try and always pack some minimum gear.
    It doesn't take much to make a "survival" situation simply camping without dinner
     
  3. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah, I know most of this - I've done human tracking with my own dogs. Off lead. Generally they move slowly enough to enable the handler to keep up with them. They move slowly as they have to ensure they're on track. They zig zag to continuously cross over the track and ensure they're not missing any changes of direction. A good scent tracking dog will ignore other smells including animals and other humans, but the trail must be relatively fresh. Which is why bringing in local dogs asap is so successful. I agree, the police dependence on all round big dogs like GSDs is not the best way to go.

    Sometimes it can be better to use smaller dogs especially when accessing tight spaces. In collapsed buildings (we're not talking tracking here obviously), small breeds like dachshunds, have been used very successfully to find casualties. They get into places where large dogs cannot possibly get.
     
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  4. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    The dogs I observed worked wide and fast until the scent was found, often out of sight of the handler. When a scent was found there was a bit of barking and the handler would call instructions and the scent was followed. Sometimes the handler would bring the dog back to a long lead. A ground scent may not be determined as human or large animal as it is not necessarily related to the actual animal. An air scent is discernible and dogs can be trained to ignore, or more to the point, follow different scents. Shepherd's have their place and have proved themselves as a good all round dog but you are right that there are better options for this type of search, the trouble is that we do not have these options available locally in Victoria. It would be great if we had one near all the major walking areas. I would also think there would be more consideration given to an earlier call out if the lost person was frail or very young.
     
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  5. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    They would be air scenters?
    That's why for a scent hound you give them an article belonging to the lost person. They smell it and know what they're after. The handler carries that article with them in case the dog gets confused.
    Several tracking clubs exist, but have never been encouraged or used by SAR organisations. This would change if the police methods were changed.
     
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  6. legend

    legend One of Us

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    I've been on search where scent dogs (Donna Buang) were used by police. They employed by a specialist dog handler using labradors. Sadly, they were not successful and the search lasted over a week.
    The police did a number of cold case searches over a period of a year with specialist cadaver dogs and still nothing resolved.
    Most searches are done in horrible weather, and often the day after when the person has been reported missing.
     
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  7. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Air scent trackers will pick up any human smell and those dogs trained to use an item of clothing will pick up the particular human scent that is on the clothing. I doubt it matters greatly. The dog is looking for a person and a specific item of clothing (unwashed) may not be available. There are S and R dog teams already and if the clubs you mention wish to be involved then the people can join the approved group and conform to the appropriate standard of operation or have their club recognised as suitable. I would suggest there is good reason for dog tracking clubs not to be called upon by search authorities. We are not the backwoods of Tennessee run by a hick sheriff.
     
  8. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Except sometimes the hick sherrif from the backwoods can be somewhat more pragmatic in sniffing out the victims/culprits!:whistle:

    Conform to the appropriate standard or nobody wants to know you?:p
     
  9. iagreewithhim

    iagreewithhim One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    ...including having your Equal Opportunity Policy, your Sustainability Strategy and your Access Policy in place!
     
  10. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes...exactly..

    Don’t even contemplate looking for anybody lost without the correct credentials.....first alert the correct agency and take no part in any procedure..:love:..never mind the 1st responder nonsense.:whistle:

    I reckon the lost couple needed a couple of army mess tins to make a rhythmic beat.o_O....beat the drums We is lost kind of noise..!!Morse code....dot,dot dot dash dash dash dot dot dot routine....

    Dogs would have heard the din and gone in to quell the couple...making undue noise in a National Park !

    Just when things were a bit dull in the NE with tiresome lightning strikes the couple stepped out to provide some light entertainment by performing a exciting bush bash right down to the lowlands .Burke & Wills of the modern era!
     
  11. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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  12. CaptainC

    CaptainC Hard Yards

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    I believe that the couple who got lost were travelling from Reservoir car park to Mollisons galleries. On the weekend of 30/31 March I walked from Rocky Creek management vehicle track to Mollisons then to Reservoir car park. The track from reservoir to Eagle Point is recently cleared but the rest mustn't have been cleared for at least 4 or 5 years. There are multiple tangles of fallen trees, many quite thick (4 feet or more) and the whole thing needs a brushcutter. It would be easy to understand people getting lost. I got sick of clambering over logs.
     
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  13. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well on a slight tangent...Mr T may need a little help down at Keppels Hut Marysville .

    I believe he is trying to deal with similar problems on an important bushwalking track that has also been let go.

    Calling all men(ok.and o_Owomen) with brushcutters report in for your assignment.

    Remember you get two points CPD for every hour on the trail!:thumbs:
     
    #163 Ubiquitous Steve, Apr 9, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  14. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    #164 Chaeron, May 21, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2019
  15. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Interesting read and recommendations.

    Not a real surprise that the relationship between the Lake St Clair Lodge and Parks was not very special.
     
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  16. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  17. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Silly buggar. And he'd done the walk before - in Oct 2015. And he lived in Tassie, so should have known better.
     
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  18. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Never has been in my experience since 2003.

    But despite all the recommendations, this guy really sounded foolish - unprepared, turning down help from other walkers.

    Easiest part of the track last few kms into Narcissus.
     
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  19. iagreewithhim

    iagreewithhim One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Inability to make rational decisions is a standard feature of hypothermia. It sounds like he was already pretty far gone by the time he met the other walkers.
     
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  20. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah but he made bad decisions about clothes before he was hypothermic
     
  21. iagreewithhim

    iagreewithhim One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    True.
     
  22. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sad way to go !
    Let’s hope coroners report recommendations come to fruition.....

    Sounds like Parks have a few loose ends to tie up in regard to missing or walkers reported to need assistance.But buck stops with person that took on this walk without proper clothing!
     
  23. CaptainC

    CaptainC Hard Yards

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  24. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I saw that on the news and shook my head.

    At first I thought it was likely to be a "4wd heros" out to prove how tough they are (even though they never go more than 10 metres from a car), by driving over the steep, high and isolated Blue Rag Range in the snow. But now I'm more inclined to think it might be some Nufty family types who saw it on a map and thought "lets go there" with no idea of the isolation, how lousy the road was and no thought about snowfalls or checking the weather forecast.

    Whoever it was, they are lucky to get out of there in such rotten conditions. Sadly it will probably affect those of us who do use these roads as access for hiking, backcountry skiing and climbing as the authorities may react be closing these roads much earlier or even moving the seasonal closure gates much lower. That will affect people who do know what they are doing and want to drive to places like the North Razorback or Lake Cobbler.
     
  25. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    It’s quite possible that the road into Camp Creek Saddle will be iffy in these conditions ...fallen trees and snow will probably accumulate overnight and tomorrow morning..

    Take care out there and make sure you are carrying a chainsaw if travelling with other vehicles .
    And it’s not pleasant chainsawing anything when the wind velocity is so high....Take extreme care with any fallen tree that needs chopping...please..

    We certainly don’t want knee jerk reactions from government depts with placing seasons gates at lower altitude ......
     
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  26. Kelly van den Berg

    Kelly van den Berg Hard Yards

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    On the contrary, a PLB will set you back $250. Well worth having in the kit
     
  27. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Totally. I meant the helicopter with infrared scanning technology was not for ordinary people.
     
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  28. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I think the school group on Bogong is a bit of a beat up. The teachers did the right thing and returned to CC hut. All safe. We did get a snow report from them though. The news reported 20cm. I would have thought more. Obviously it was not the snow depth that stopped them getting out.
     
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  29. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    So the well equiped party with professional :pand accredited leaders needed to retreat to a hut?

    Team Bears love the anti Hut Lobby.......

    Now tell Team Bears they are unnecessary and cause unprepared parties to depend on them???

    Again our High Country Huts provide assistance in atrocious weather!And prevented a serious event unfolding on the Bogong Massive.

    Common you NSW dudes let’s hear your anti Hut rhetoric again!:whistle:

    Couple more for Xplora too:love::emoji_skull_crossbones::emoji_key2: !
    Cheers ...thankgod no third persons:whistle: were required as good judgement was made by school trip leaders....retreat from that amount of exposure is sound judgement!
     
  30. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  31. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Back in my day, when men were men, and sheep were afraid........
     
  32. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ubiquitous Steve A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I know you need a few hot girls at Michelle waiting by the fire to give you that extra power to thrust through the head wind....but common they were only schoolies?
    Lets hope the girls are gathering firewood for Michelle’s for the next calamity!
     
  33. CaptainC

    CaptainC Hard Yards

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    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05...er-rookie-mistake-in-snow-conditions/11162726 A father and son in a 4WD getting stuck at Millers Hut for 2 days. Father says he didn't think to check the weather before he went away. Took Police, SES and Parks Vic to rescue him. I remember that last year a 4WD group got trapped at Horseyard Flat by a fall of snow and had to be rescued. I hope it doesn't lead to locked gates in this area.
     
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