Rock rescue – Man spends night in open after fall

A 79-year-old man spent a terrifying night exposed to the elements after falling at Hanging Rock last Tuesday.
The Melbourne man had fallen about seven to eight metres about 2.30pm and was unable to call for help, sustaining serious upper and lower body injuries.
Rangers noticed the man’s car later that day and searched for the owner and reported it to police.
Fear for the man’s safety grew the next morning when the car wasn’t claimed and it was re-reported about 11am, sparking a search that lasted hours before the man was found about 6pm.
Along with police, paramedics, CFA, SES and Fire Rescue Victoria, an air ambulance was on scene and flew the man to Alfred Hospital.
Woodend SES controller Kevin McNair said it was fortunate the weather had been mild.
“If it had been in the winter, wet and really cold, it could have been a different story,” Mr McNair said.
“Under those conditions there’d be the risk of hypothermia so it was good outcome.
“We packaged him into a stokes litter (rescue basket) and got him to a vantage point for the rescue helicopter to winch him up and extricate him.
“It was a multi-agency rescue in very difficult conditions, rough terrain and very steep, it really was an excellent effort by all agencies.
“We didn’t finish until well into the night.”