Lost backpackers rescued in perilous conditions
LOCAL SES personnel traversed horrible weather conditions to rescue three French backpackers who had become lost hiking on Mount Barney.
They had started their walk early on Tuesday morning but raised the alarm with police after losing their way after six hours on the trail.
Members of the Scenic Rim SES Unit, including deputy local controller Bill Gaudry, Jo Bromley, Adam Dorricott and Peter Franklin, responded that evening and rushed to the scene.
Because the three lost men were wearing light clothing and did not have any food, water or first aid supplies, it was decided after a briefing with police that time was of the essence.
The Queensland Police Service were able to track their mobile phones and provide co-ordinates to guide the team on a gruelling 16 hours of hiking and navigating.
Mr Gaudry said at the bottom of the mountain there was a slight breeze and a bit of drizzle but as they started to ascend, it turned into the worst weather conditions he had ever worked in.
As they got nearer to the top,it got colder and colder, the wind gusts reach 50km/h and fog made visibility difficult.
At some points the team could only see three metres ahead of them.
"It's probably the worst conditions I've ever had to work in in any sort of rescue," he said.
When they reached the backpackers, who had managed to find a bit of shelter from the conditions, the wind was so strong