Miss­ing an­gler had cold night in cave

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - HE­LEN KEMP­TON

A YOUNG Vic­to­rian man spent a cold night in a cave in the Cen­tral High­lands af­ter be­com­ing dis­ori­en­tated dur­ing a fish­ing trip with mates.

A com­mand post was es­tab­lished at the 1000 Lakes Lodge early yes­ter­day to co-or­di­nate the search for the 21-year-old who had been miss­ing since 7.30pm the night be­fore.

The young an­gler was wear­ing waders but just two lay­ers of cloth­ing when he got dis­ori­en­tated and failed to re­turn to the car where his fish­ing friends were wait­ing.

Around 10am yes­ter­day, the lost man caught the at­ten­tion of the West­pac Res­cue He­li­copter, which had been dis­patched at first light, near Tali­nah La­goon, west of Lake Ada. The man was un­in­jured but was checked by paramedics as a pre­cau­tion.

Po­lice were no­ti­fied at 7.30pm on Monday night that the young man had not re­turned af­ter walk­ing ahead of the group near Lake Ada.

The group ar­rived at 6am at Lake Ada with plans to fish all day at Lake Tin Hut. The man walked ahead and his friends last saw him fish­ing at Sandy Lake.

They could hear him yelling out in con­ver­sa­tion for a while, but heard noth­ing af­ter mid­day. When they re­turned to their car late that af­ter­noon he was not back.

Po­lice said the man had be­come dis­ori­en­tated. He told po­lice he had walked un­til about 11pm be­fore find­ing shel­ter in a small cave. He started walk­ing again about 5am.

Five hours later the man caught the at­ten­tion of the West­pac Res­cue He­li­copter crew, which picked him up and took him back to the com­mand post. The tem­per­a­ture dropped be­low 0C in the Cen­tral High­lands on Monday night.

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