Sincere appreciation to Victorian Police .....

Submitted: Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003 at 16:53
ThreadID: 7378 Views:2528 Replies:6 FollowUps:4
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I would like to thanks for those local Victorian Police and Rangers from Park Victoria who had participiated in our Search & Rescue operation and recovery of our vehicles and the gentleman who notify police about our situation.

The incident happen on 2 days ago on 21st Sept. The location was at west of Sheepyard Flat. We were in a 2 days 4wd trip and suppposed to follow a trek " THREE CHAIN TK". We used a map " Rooftop's Manfield - Mt.Howitt Adventure Map Third edition 2001". We turned off to right from Howqua Trk to THREE CHAIN TRK. During driving, we also use a GPS to keep track our location and with the track drawing on that GPS device, we thought we were on a right track. At the end of the track, we went down a long steep hill about 200-300 m with gradient about 30 - 40 degree and followed by another 2 rocky steep hills for about 500m totally. We end up arrived to Howqua River.
After checking water depth, we attempt to cross it on foot. The current is too strong and there are lots of big rock at the river bed. Also, the exit point seems hasn't been used for long long time. We decided not to risk to cross it.
At that moment, we had already anticipated that it would be a difficult situation to drive up those hill which we had come down before.
We got stuck at the 3rd hill on the way back. We only have a Big Haul hand winch with us so we spend almost 3 hours to get those 2 cars to 2nd hill. At that time, it was already 4pm. As both vehicles were pretty standard (93 Diesel Patrol with MTR tyre and 90 Pajero with all terrain front and BFG muddy at read), there was no way that we can get up the last long steep horrible hill. As all of us were very exhaused, we decided to call for help thr UHF. Fortuantely, we barely can contact a person who was skiing on Mt. Bulla on Ch.32. As the signal was very bad, he can barely receive our GPS coordiate and our situation. However, we lost contact again after that.
After 2 hours, we receive a radio call from Victorian Police. A 100 series Police car came to rescue and it actually came down the first hill and wait at the top of 2nd hill. A police woman walk down the hill and reach to our first car , Patrol. After accessing the situation, we walk back to police car and attempt to drive back. After fitting 4 chains on its wheel, even such capable 100 series can't get up to half way of the first hill. The worst thing was the winch on that police car was not working ! The clutch on the winch malfunctioned ! We spend almost 5 hours to hand winch this police car about................ 50m !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In short, we had another police car waiting for us at the top of first hill and drove us back to town. A police 4wd was declared stuck and has to be rescued the following day. Police contacted a 4wd recovery specialist as he has the most capable tow truck in that area. However, he also refused as he knew it was impossible to recover three vehicles on that hill...........
Finally, police call for a bulldozer for recovery........and it worked.........but with big bill ! ....................
At the end of this incident, we found out that the map is detailed enough and we made a wrong turn from THREE CHAIN TREK to a unnamed trek which was not shown on map. The trek is supposed to be burnt and closed in the coming summer.
Also, Police said better use UTM/UPS instead of Lat and Long as it took them long time to convert the coordinate.
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Reply By: Member - Luxoluk - Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003 at 18:54

Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003 at 18:54
I say 3 cheers for our men & women in blue. They achieve a lot with very little support and invariably are only appreciated when adverse situations are encountered. Good on them...and I hope they get a new winch and a set of diff locks out of the incident not to mention a Christmas card from IAGQ!!
AnswerID: 31784

Reply By: Willie - Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003 at 19:05

Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003 at 19:05

Well, what an adventure. It is good to have adventures such as you have experienced and hopefully you will see the need in future adventures such as these for better recovery and communications equipment when vetnuring into the unknown.
WillieNever a dull moment
AnswerID: 31786

Reply By: Tim - Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003 at 20:31

Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003 at 20:31
Well done to the coppers!
Am I right in saying that the cruiser had plasma rope on its winch?
AnswerID: 31803

Follow Up By: IAMGQ - Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003 at 20:46

Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003 at 20:46
Yes, I am very surprised that this cruiser use plasma rope. Not sure the clutch malfunction because of this or not. But on another cruiser, they still use steel cable.
FollowupID: 22694

Reply By: Member - Toonfish - Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003 at 22:00

Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003 at 22:00
while i worry about legalities of this post
rooftops maps are very poor copies .
i was told by vic parks maps were copied without permission and inadaquetly proofed
hence there license to copy was not granted and asked to be taken of shelves.
this was from Parks vic 3 months ago
had a similair run in with their maps in the Tallarook region.

pity too hear you issues .
I guees police are there too help too and after what i seen across the road from my house which i cant talk about the earn there money.
AnswerID: 31827

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003 at 22:51

Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003 at 22:51
We did 3 chains around 5 mths ago, its a BRILLIANT track!!!!

I know the sections you are talking about, that last section going up, is horn!

I wouldnt even think of going down the hill in an Auto, you would be doing about 290320394234980329842039480239 mph at the bottom, and would go through the farm house (You did know theres a farm across the creek from the bottom of the last section?)..

Thats the way we came in, from the farm house, across the small creek, around behind the farm, and then thru some bush, and right and over a hump, and UP, then UP AND UP!!!
AnswerID: 31840

Follow Up By: IAMGQ - Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003 at 23:59

Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003 at 23:59
Yes, you are right. We did saw a big fram house across the creek. We tried couple times sound our horn and shout but as the river was too noise, we didn't expect to be heard though.

The track condition as this moment is impassable as bulldozer push it's way up in full throttle to pull my patrol ......... You can see the whole hill section as sand dune with couple 90 degree bends..........

However, it is a ideal testing ground for a winch....... : >
FollowupID: 22715

Reply By: GUPatrol - Wednesday, Sep 24, 2003 at 14:41

Wednesday, Sep 24, 2003 at 14:41
It is really concerning to read this kind of thing!
That is the reason more and more tracks get closed, people go down, unprepared and when they get into trouble they call for help...
Now they have a reason to close this track, and many others.
Park Vic told me once, we are tired of recovering people who are ill prepared so they close the hard tracks and all we have left is the easier gravel roads to travel on.
You obviously didn't know the area, failed to navigate properly and were not properly prepared for that kind of terrain.
You should have checked the area on foot or at least be sure you could come backup if you didn't know the area and what is up ahead.
You should have had at least one vehicle with proper recovery equipment.
Sorry, but I have now had a 4wd for several years and I have seen this many many times, most times it just goes unpublished and most times it is other 4wdrivers who waste half a day recovering others who did not have enough training, experience or recovery gear to get them out of there...
I hope you and your fellow travellers have learned a lesson from this....
AnswerID: 31889

Follow Up By: Tim - Wednesday, Sep 24, 2003 at 17:04

Wednesday, Sep 24, 2003 at 17:04
"Hind sight is always the best view"
FollowupID: 22766

Follow Up By: GUPatrol - Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 11:42

Thursday, Sep 25, 2003 at 11:42
That is why I said this:
"I hope you and your fellow travellers have learned a lesson from this...."
FollowupID: 22800

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