Euphoria as missing man found after two nights lost in Namadgi National Park

Glynis Quinlan 16 March 2018

A 56-year-old birdwatcher who was missing for two nights in Namadgi National Park has been found alive and well.

Peter Morris had been missing in the park since Wednesday at 1 pm and authorities were becoming increasingly concerned about his well-being.

There was “absolute euphoria” when he was spotted by helicopter this morning following a tip-off from a member of the public about a possible area to search.

“A fantastic result – one that we worked very hard for,” said Sergeant David Bell of AFP Search and Rescue.

“It was absolute euphoria in the helicopter there this morning as we flew over and first spotted Peter. The sense of relief was palpable within the machine there,” said Namadgi National Park manager Brett McNamara.

“It speaks volumes about the collaboration and co-operation between the agencies.”

Sergeant Bell said that Mr Morris had been transported to hospital.

“He’s well – considering he’s been out for two nights now in the bush,” said Sergeant Bell, who indicated searchers had become increasingly concerned as time went on.

“With any search, of course, the concerns elevate over time and we were getting to a point where we were starting to become quite concerned for his welfare and as a result, we were throwing as much resources into as we could from day one,” Sergeant Bell said.

Sergeant Bell said more than 40 people from all services were involved in the search which was conducted from first light yesterday (Thursday) and started again this morning (with vehicles also driving around the area during the night).

Mr Morris visited the park to go bird watching, with the alarm raised at 11 pm on Wednesday night when he didn’t return and his car was found locked inside the park gates.

“He’s come out bushwalking. He’s an avid bird watcher and has obviously lost his way,” Sergeant Bell said.

“It resulted in his partner giving us a call early the night before last after which we started a search.

“We were fortunate enough to get a tip-off from a member of the public last night who gave us an area where he might possibly be. From there we moved our search to that area and soon after that we located him.”

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