|Accident at Mt Buffalo 26/04/15
Reported as an abseiling accident but few details at this stage . . .
Anyone know any more details? This seems like a bizarre accident if the details from the link are to be believed...
Hope the climbers (and rescue crews) are doing alright, would've been a long cold night for them.
On 27/04/2015 Sabu wrote:
>Anyone know any more details? This seems like a bizarre accident if the
>details from the link are to be believed...
>Hope the climbers (and rescue crews) are doing alright, would've been
>a long cold night for them.
Local radio said the accident happened about 3.30 pm yesterday afternoon and Search & Rescue arrived to the man about 4.30 am this morning.
The accident allegedly occurred on the North Wall while the man was abseiling.
The person involved is aged 24 years and comes from Melbourne.
His injuries are unknown at this stage, and a helicopter is expected to arrive this morning to winch him out after Rescue personnel get him to a suitable site for that to happen.
From the link in first post of thread;
The man landed in a pool of water at about 3:30pm Sunday afternoon, but managed to move himself to dry rocks nearby.
Given this accident doesn't involve a fatality I will indulge in a little speculation, as it is a public forum and all that...
If it is the north wall, the only places I know of where water tends to accumulate as a 'pool' for any length of time and abseiling is popular, are at the floor of the gorge adjacent to the commercial abseil route which is adjacent Fuhrer; and also in the base of the slot adjacent to the start of Ozymandias.
Given that the rescue personnel need to get the patient to a suitable winch site, it sounds to me like the Ozy site involved.
Local radio also reported the fall as being 20 m (not 15 m, as in the link). This also approximates the length of the first pitch of Ozy.
~> The accident may have occurred on a retreat from Ozy?
Link (& radio) reported that the rope broke.
If it was an Ozy retreat, it would more likely be an abseil anchor (of the sling or prusik cord leave-behind kind), that broke??
From The Border Mail.................
PARAMEDICS and SES workers were last night spending the night with an injured abseiler at Mount Buffalo Gorge.
The abseiler, a man, had a fall about 4pm after a rope malfunction.
Emergency crews responded after the man activated his Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon.
Myrtleford Sgt Martin Torpey said the man had possible spinal injuries and would have to stay the night with emergency crews.
“It’s too dark to get him out now,” he said.
“The man is conscious, he’s talking, and he has six of his abseiling mates with him.”
Search and Rescue from Melbourne will attend the scene in the morning to assist in retrieving the man.
> “The man is conscious, he’s talking, and he has six of his abseiling mates with him.”
That's a big party for Ozy... Perhaps it was the commercial site M9?
>That's a big party for Ozy... Perhaps it was the commercial site M9?
Could well be, though I would've thought the floor of the gorge below Fuhrer is suitable for a chopper to land, let alone winch...
Then again, it might be a private party* going down Defender and then continuing down Comet Ramp to the base of Ozy area?
(*Much like DMWdesign's mob did recently).
(Another thought that I dismissed earlier was 'another Eurobin Falls accident').
~> These unfolding events reveal the folly of speculation!
Radio just said the air ambulance chopper evacuation is happening right now.
The Search and Rescue personnel attending him are from Melbourne and had to abseil to the man after locating him.
It also mentioned "the man sustained unspecified non life threatening injuries", and will be transferred to a road ambulance waiting to receive him at Tuckerbox Junction.
It was not a commercial group. The injured person is a friend of mine, he is an experienced climber. Not much more information at this point beyond the media reports. The reports about it being an abseiling accident are correct. I've heard nothing confirming that it was a rope "snapping".
I'll probably be leaving any further updates for those directly involved.
What happened to the Channel 7 link photo posted earlier?
Hope your friend is ok Patto, thanks for the updates.
Local ABC radio just interviewed a fellow named Ian Hunt who is the Ambulance Group Manager for the area involved, regarding their (paramedics) participation in the rescue.
He said that from their perspective the injuries sustained were not of a time critical nature and they had several options for extracting the patient.
Their first option tried was to send a foot party into the gorge via 'walking tracks', but that party was "stopped by a large rock about 11pm that night", so at that time it was decided that the Police Rescue unit would abseil in to the patient with a thermal splint/stretcher*
(I did not quite catch that bit so am unsure what he was referring to, other than the thermal part).
He said the patient was in good spirits and is expected to make a full recovery. He wouldn't be drawn in that interview into devulging the nature of the injury, saying that was up to the patient or family members.
When asked by the interviewer about the 'snapped rope', he did however say that the incident came about from "retrieving a stuck rope".
I add my best wishes for a speedy recovery to the individual involved.
Guess it wasn't that stuck?
Did the accident occur while abseiling as part of a climbing activity or was the trip focussed on abseiling?
The information given by the Ambulance Group Manager is accurate. I don't expect that more details will be forthcoming.
On 28/04/2015 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>I add my best wishes for a speedy recovery to the individual involved.
On 28/04/2015 Miguel75 wrote:
>Hope your friend is ok Patto, thanks for the updates.
Thanks. A speedy and full recovery is expected. He is likely to be released from hospital soon. He was fortunate given the circumstances, the water cushioned the fall. The response to the incident from all involved was excellent.
Good to hear that he will recover well.
It would be good if the people involved can detal the circumstances leading to the accident at some time.
By my reckoning there have now been 4 incidents involving abseiling in Vic in the last 6 months, 3 of them in the last six weeks!
While there's no direct relationship, it suggests that maybe we're just a bit too blase about abseiling.
There's a lot of discussion about whether to use backup prusiks (and where they're positioned) but not a lot about local examples. There may be some chat going on in the background but I'm not aware of open discussion (may just be me of course).
Anyway, if they feel able a brief description of what happened would be good (names not required).
A bit of stuff on this in the Sunday Age today. Apparently the wall of silence is beaking down. Good thing too.
This idea that you can say nothing and hope it goes away was always going to fail.
The info I've been given is that the guy went up to free the jammed rope but, due to communication problems, people above disconnected the rope from the anchor so when the rope was freed he fell. Lots of questions about that that I don't have answers to.
On 12/07/2015 kieranl wrote:
>A bit of stuff on this in the Sunday Age today. Apparently the wall of
>silence is beaking down. Good thing too.
>This idea that you can say nothing and hope it goes away was always going
I don't believe a wall of silence was ever the intention. Though I can completely understand that it has perceived this way. As I indicated earlier in PM I personally believe that clear information and good discussion about incidents is a healthy part of the climbing community. I am sincere about this.
I personally am not directly involved but I do know people who are. Like most organisations (governmental, corporate and others) internal reviews of incidents take place. Reports are produced and committees discuss things. This all takes time.
That said, in your position I would probably be posting in the same manner. As a forum regular here and on overseas forums I have learnt significantly from reading about and discussing accidents that have occurred in climbing. The Buffalo incident was combination of events and deserves to be discussed.
On 12/07/2015 patto wrote:
>On 12/07/2015 kieranl wrote:
>>A bit of stuff on this in the Sunday Age today. Apparently the wall of
>>silence is beaking down. Good thing too.
>>This idea that you can say nothing and hope it goes away was always going
>I don't believe a wall of silence was ever the intention. Though I can
>completely understand that it has perceived this way. As I indicated earlier
>in PM I personally believe that clear information and good discussion about
>incidents is a healthy part of the climbing community. I am sincere about
>I personally am not directly involved but I do know people who are. Like
>most organisations (governmental, corporate and others) internal reviews
>of incidents take place. Reports are produced and committees discuss things.
> This all takes time.
>That said, in your position I would probably be posting in the same manner.
> As a forum regular here and on overseas forums I have learnt significantly
>from reading about and discussing accidents that have occurred in climbing.
> The Buffalo incident was combination of events and deserves to be discussed.
In the other thread with info of this incident regarding 'silence' it indicates;
>members were explicitly told not to discuss the accidents with anyone outside of the club.
and regarding internal reviews it indicated;
>The club did not report the severity of the Buffalo Gorge accident and told the university the injured club member was in a "good" condition, therefore not triggering a "critical incident response" by Melbourne University Sport, a university spokesman said.
>"Given the very serious nature of the incident, the university will specifically look into the club's operations, and the university's relationship to it," he said.
>"The Melbourne University Mountaineering Club's committee was contacted but declined to comment."
Forgive us(?) for being sceptical...
On 27/04/2015 Sabu wrote:
>Anyone know any more details? This seems like a bizarre accident if the details from the link are to be believed...
I suspect that it is lucky for MUMC that the Land of Oz is not as litigeous as some other countries...
While this was not strictly a climbing accident (more like canyoning than anything else) it's pertinent to climbers because of the location and some of the things it reinforces.
It hammers home the dangers of poor communication. Anyone who has done the raps to the base of Ozy knows how difficult the noise of the waterfall and creek can make things. Add in a large group of people, even experienced people, and a serious problem and the potential for confusion multiplies.
I'm still having trouble working out how the incident evolved as it did - I'm guessing that, like many of these situations, it was the end-result of a series of decisions which seemed reasonable at the time but cascaded into near-disaster.
What's of real concern to me is that this was only one of three climbing-related abseil accidents early this year, any of which could easily have resulted in a fatality. It's pure luck that no-one died, although two of the people involved were seriously injured.
In all three cases human factors contributed heavily to the accidents, these being variously poor communication, distraction and impatience. We're all guilty of these at different times and I know that it's only luck that has saved me from mistakes due to these over the years.