4 Teenagers Rescued by Helicopter from Bluff Knoll, Australia

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Stirling Range National Park in Western Australia. | Picture: Hike Australia Instagram

On Sunday, September 3, 2023, 45 volunteers were joined by career firefighters, Department of Fire and Emergency Services personnel, Western Australian Police, St Johns Western Australia and Parks and Wildlife Rangers at a complex rescue of four teenagers stranded on Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Range National Park in Australia.

Stirling Range with Bluff Knoll in WA. | Picture: Hike Australia Instagram
Police had been informed on Saturday, September 2, around 6:20 p.m. that four male teenagers aged 18-19 had walked up Bluff Knoll in Western Australia, but due to weather conditions were unable to walk back down. Australia is currently experiencing a cold front moving from the south-west across the country which brought strong winds, rain and even snow to Bluff Knoll. Due to lack of daylight and the bad weather it was unsafe for a rescue at that time. The group advised police they had enough food, water and warm clothing for the night.
Another hiking group successfully made it down that earlier day but the picture illustrates the poor visibility as the weather started moving in. | Picture: Adventures with Daytan Instagram Account
On Sunday morning September 3, 2023, (Australian Father’s Day) around 6:40 a.m. police were advised that two members of the group were unable to walk down to safety as it was now snowing. An air rescue with the RAC Rescue helicopter was not possible at that time due to rain and strong winds.
Emergency services volunteers climbed for nearly four hours on Sunday to reach the group. Luckily there was a break in the weather and the skilled RAC Rescue helicopter pilot and the crew were able to retrieve the four men safely. This could have resulted in 30+ hours of on-the-ground rescue work if the volunteers had been forced to carry them out.
This case highlights the importance of checking up-to-date weather forecasts before venturing out. Luckily the four young men returned home safely but Bluff Knoll has a history of people going missing every year.
The rescue workers hiking out off the Stirling National Park. | Picture: Department of Fire and Emergency Services Western Australia

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