Van ‘ig­nored for days’

Rangers al­legedly ‘missed warn­ing signs’

The Weekend Post - - News - PETE MARTINELLI [email protected] ed­i­to­[email protected] face­­Cairn­sPost twit­­Cairn­sPost

PARK Rangers al­legedly ig­nored the van of miss­ing hiker Shane Ho­lian for six days be­cause they “thought he was asleep” in­side.

It was only when his friends called emer­gency ser­vices that a res­cue ef­fort swung into gear at Jourama Falls, south of Ing­ham.

Mr Ho­lian, 61, for­merly of Cairns, had em­barked on a day trek at Jourama Falls and was due to leave on De­cem­ber 3 and drive north.

Mr Ho­lian’s friend, Rand Bras­sil of Mis­sion Beach, said rangers did not pick up on warn­ing signs de­spite liv­ing a stone’s throw from the van.

“The rangers live on site, lit­er­ally 50m away from his van that had been unat­tended for six days,” Mr Bras­sil said. “It should have rung alarm bells.

“The first day what we were quoted was ‘we thought he was asleep – we didn’t want to dis­turb him in his van’.

“It is out­ra­geous; he was reg­is­tered to leave last Mon­day – a week ago.”

Mr Bras­sil has called for an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of ranger pro­ce­dure.

“When I go to a na­tional park and I go bush­walk­ing I like to know that some­one has my back,” he said.

“I would think if we go through their pro­ce­dures step one would be to en­sure the safety of visitors to the park. “We have been let down.” The Queens­land Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice was asked whether an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was forth­com­ing.

“We have been ad­vised that as this is a Po­lice mat­ter, it would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate for Queens­land Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice to com­ment,” a QPWS spokesman said.

Cy­clone Owen has ham­pered searchers.

“Air and land search is continuing un­til it is no longer fea­si­ble with the weather,” a QPS spokesman said.

MISS­ING: Shane Ho­lian.

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