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Two Youths Missing in Victoria’s Otway Ranges

Victoria never has a shortage of people who get lost in the wilderness here with two more people being lost outside of Lorne:

A POLICE air search has been launched to find two youths missing in bushland for two nights.

The youths are missing in cool conditions in bushland at Erskine Falls, near the resort town of Lorne on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road.

Police believe the same pair used a mobile phone to contact them about 10am (AEDT) on Tuesday.

Text messages were exchanged but they stopped about 2.30pm, leading police to suspect the phone had been switched off or the battery had gone flat.

Attempts to find the youths using the phone’s signal have failed.

The search resumed this morning with a police helicopter and about 40 officers, State Emergency Service volunteers and Parks Victoria staff.

“At this stage, we’ve got members of police search and rescue, we’ve got the police air wing on scene, we’ve got the police dog squad down here, members of the local SES, members of the local DSE (Department of Sustainability and Environment) parks service and we just called out some members from our bush search rescue … volunteers and they’re on their way,” Greg Bliss from the Victoria Police Search and Rescue Squad said on ABC Radio.  [AAP]

Lorne is on Victoria’s world famous Great Ocean Road and is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the state.  The beautiful Erskine Falls is located just outside of town.  Most people visit the falls by driving to them and then completing a short but extremely steep hike to the falls.  However, I suspect these two youths probably took the longer trail that runs from Lorne to the falls and some how got off the trail and lost.

Erskine Falls outside of Lorne, Victoria

The Great Otway Ranges along the Great Ocean Road is heavily forested and if you do not follow the trails it is very easy to get lost because you cannot see over the tree tops anywhere to reorient yourself.  Here is a perfect example of how thick the forests of the Otway Ranges can be:

Thick bush surrounds a trail in the Otway Ranges.

Hopefully these two lost youths can be found, but this should serve as another precautionary tale to always stay on trails and be prepared when exploring the bush here in Australia.

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