By Steph McNicol
A 79-YEAR-OLD man was taken by air ambulance to The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, after a fall at Hanging Rock, which saw him immobilised and left out in the cold for more than 24 hours.
The man, alone at the time of the fall, was forced to spend the night at Hanging Rock after his disappearance was not reported until the next day.
Constable Zac Henderson, of Kyneton police, said it was reported the man was walking with a friend on Wednesday, March 10, before the incident occurred.
“He was initially with a friend, and about three-quarters of the way up, the friend could not walk any further up and they’ve gone back to the bottom,” Const Henderson said.
“The friend must have left after a certain amount of time, and the next day they were unable to get hold of the man, so they contacted police.”
Police believe the man and his friend do not live together and it was unlikely they travelled in the same car.
According to a Facebook post by Newham Fire Brigade, Hanging Rock park rangers noticed the man’s car was still in the car park, but were unable to locate him.
When the car was still there the next morning, and the man’s friend was unable to contact him, police were called.
Other emergency workers including State Emergency Services, Ambulance Victoria and the Victoria Police Air Wing attended the search.
Newham Fire Brigade member David Bachelor said CFA played a support role in the rescue.
“There is an automatic callout to the brigade … when we got there, we heard an elderly man was up on the north face of the rock and police search and rescue were there and had found him,” Mr Bachelor said.
“From my understanding, no one knew how far he had fallen at that stage. We were there in case we were needed, when police attended, they didn’t know what they would need until they got up there.
“Altogether we would’ve had had close to 30 people, including from SES, CFA, ambulance and police. It was hard to know what was going on because the radio network we have wasn’t working … the rocks block the signal.
“We were hearing messages third hand … our role was a support role.”
An Ambulance Victoria spokesperson said the man was located at 6pm in a serious but stable condition, with injuries to the upper and lower body, before being taken by helicopter to The Alfred Hospital.