news, local-news, Michael Bowman, Lake St Clair, rescue, Tasmania Police, VictoriaMissing Victorian bushwalker Michael Bowman said he did not think he would be able to survive much longer when he was rescued by a search team near Lake St Clair on Tuesday. The 57-year-old had spent over a week bunkered down in his tent with dwindling supplies as he awaited rescue. “I don’t think I would have lasted another night because I had started to get wet,” Mr Bowman said. “It had been raining the last couple of days and the snow started to melt around the base of the tent.” Mr Bowman’s first four days of hiking yielded nice but windy weather, however, the experienced hiker came into trouble when he lost his backpack during a day trip to Coal Hill, located West of where his tent was set up at Mount Cuvier, and the conditions became more dangerous. His pack held his Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, his radio, food, his camera and other important supplies. Mr Bowman said he put his pack down while he was searching for his tripod which he believed he had dropped in the scrub. He said he didn’t walk further than 30 metres away from the bag due to the thick vegetation. “I was mindful I couldn’t go too far from the pack in case I couldn’t find it again,” he said. Watch Mr Bowman’s full interview: Mr Bowman said taking off the pack was the worst decision he has made. “When I put my pack down to look for my tripod I could have either left my pack on my back or tied it to myself. “I only had a roll and a half of film left, I should have said stuff the tripod.” Mr Bowman spent three hours searching for the pack before spending a night out in the elements. “I managed to find some big rocks and there was a spot I could lay under. While it was freezing cold I kept dry,” he said. Mr Bowman said the change in the conditions from when he first set out was something he did not expect to happen. “The conditions I experienced on the weekend were just unbelievable,” he said. “[The snow] was unrelenting. Not jut the falling snow but the wind-blown snow. It was like a blizzard.” Having hiked in the Mount Cuvier area before, Mr Bowman was able to retrace his footsteps and find his tent where he knew his best chance of survival was to stay in the tent and wait for rescue. As the weather conditions worsened, snow began to compress the tent. Mr Bowman had to cut a hole in the roof of the tent to get out and used orange garbage bags to keep out the rain. Having lost his EPIRB and radio, he had no way to tell time. “There was no sun. You can see when it gets dark and gets light,” he said. Mr Bowman said he usually kept his radio in the tent, as he had done for the three days prior, however he had taken it with him on his day walk to Coal Hill so he could listen to the latest football scores. Mr Bowman said he was lucky he was able to stay dry as he tried to keep snow from entering the tent. “It was only the last two days I started to get wet,” he said. “I had a dry sleeping bag and I was warm.” Mr Bowman survived off drinking snow melt and nibbling on a limited supply of freeze-dried food packs, potato powder, tuna, rolled oats and dessert mixes. “I didn’t feel that hungry because I didn’t need a lot of energy. I picked here and there,” he said. Describing himself as a sweet tooth, Mr Bowman said it was unfortunate he did not have his chocolate which was lost with his pack. On the morning of the day he was rescued, Mr Bowman heard a helicopter in the distance as it was searching nearby. He said that was the moment when he began to give up hope thinking that may have been his only chance at rescue. Luckily, later in the day the helicopter took a final pass of area and spotted Mr Bowman’s yellow tent. “I just stood there with my orange garbage bags waving them around like a windmill, jumping up and down,” he said. “I could see the red and blue lights and I thought – this is the happiest day of my life.” “I was that happy I was running to the helicopter. The snow was probably up to my waist. “I would have crawled to the helicopter.” Mr Bowman praised the work of the search and rescue crews that came to his aid. “They are absolute heroes. They are champions,” he said. Aside from being a bit weak, Mr Bowman said he was physically fine. “I could probably afford to lose a bit of weight so that doesn’t matter,” he joked. He said the toughest part of the ordeal had been the mental anguish he experienced knowing his family was worried about him and thinking what he could have done differently. “That’s the hardest part. You continually think ‘if you hadn’t done this, if you hadn’t done that'” he said. “You know you’re alright but [your family] doesn’t.” Mr Bowman said he was committed to staying in the tent because, should he have died, at least his body would be found. Mr Bowman said his bushwalking was all based around his passion for photography. “It’s what I go out to do and it’s what I love doing,” he said. “I take good photos, it’s what I pride myself on.” Unfortunately, all his photography gear was lost when Mr Bowman lost his pack. Mr Bowman said he would continue to pursue his love of wilderness photography. “I will keep walking, I’ve just got to get my gear back,” he said. https://nnimgt-a.akamaihd.net/transform/v1/crop/frm/tU3s4GQYJcpNYMWcjKYZt4/38da37fc-2264-430f-8396-4e35f54e77a5.JPG/r1_263_4925_3045_w1200_h678_fmax.jpgIN DEPTHJuly 17 2019 – 3:15PMMissing Victorian bushwalker Michael Bowman said he did not think he would be able to survive much longer when he was rescued by a search team near Lake St Clair on Tuesday.The 57-year-old had spent over a week bunkered down in his tent with dwindling supplies as he awaited rescue.”I don’t think I would have lasted another night because I had started to get wet,” Mr Bowman said.”It had been raining the last couple of days and the snow started to melt around the base of the tent.” LENGTHY SEARCH: Timeline of events leading up to Mr Bowman’s rescue. Picture: Tasmania Police Mr Bowman’s first four days of hiking yielded nice but windy weather, however, the experienced hiker came into trouble when he lost his backpack during a day trip to Coal Hill, located West of where his tent was set up at Mount Cuvier, and the conditions became more dangerous.His pack held his Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, his radio, food, his camera and other important supplies.Mr Bowman said he put his pack down while he was searching for his tripod which he believed he had dropped in the scrub.He said he didn’t walk further than 30 metres away from the bag due to the thick vegetation.”I was mindful I couldn’t go too far from the pack in case I couldn’t find it again,” he said.Watch Mr Bowman’s full interview: Michael Bowman’s tale of survivalhttps://nnimgt-a.akamaihd.net/transform/v1/crop/frm/tU3s4GQYJcpNYMWcjKYZt4/38da37fc-2264-430f-8396-4e35f54e77a5.JPG/r1_263_4925_3045_w1200_h678_fmax.jpgVictorian bushwalker Michael Bowman was rescued near Lake St Clair on Tuesday.news, local-news, Michael Bowman, Lake St Clair, rescue, Tasmania Police, Victoria2019-07-17T15:15:00+10:00https://players.brightcove.net/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=6060086347001https://players.brightcove.net/3879528182001/default_default/index.html?videoId=6060086347001Mr Bowman said taking off the pack was the worst decision he has made.”When I put my pack down to look for my tripod I could have either left my pack on my back or tied it to myself.”I only had a roll and a half of film left, I should have said stuff the tripod.” Mr Bowman spent three hours searching for the pack before spending a night out in the elements.”I managed to find some big rocks and there was a spot I could lay under. While it was freezing cold I kept dry,” he said.
Michael Bowman’s tale of survival
Mr Bowman said the change in the conditions from when he first set out was something he did not expect to happen. “The conditions I experienced on the weekend were just unbelievable,” he said. “[The snow] was unrelenting. Not jut the falling snow but the wind-blown snow. It was like a blizzard.”Having hiked in the Mount Cuvier area before, Mr Bowman was able to retrace his footsteps and find his tent where he knew his best chance of survival was to stay in the tent and wait for rescue.As the weather conditions worsened, snow began to compress the tent.Mr Bowman had to cut a hole in the roof of the tent to get out and used orange garbage bags to keep out the rain.Having lost his EPIRB and radio, he had no way to tell time.”There was no sun. You can see when it gets dark and gets light,” he said.Mr Bowman said he usually kept his radio in the tent, as he had done for the three days prior, however he had taken it with him on his day walk to Coal Hill so he could listen to the latest football scores.Mr Bowman said he was lucky he was able to stay dry as he tried to keep snow from entering the tent.”It was only the last two days I started to get wet,” he said.”I had a dry sleeping bag and I was warm.”Mr Bowman survived off drinking snow melt and nibbling on a limited supply of freeze-dried food packs, potato powder, tuna, rolled oats and dessert mixes. “I didn’t feel that hungry because I didn’t need a lot of energy. I picked here and there,” he said.Describing himself as a sweet tooth, Mr Bowman said it was unfortunate he did not have his chocolate which was lost with his pack. RESCUED: Pilot Mark Allen, found bushwalker Michael Bowman, Ambulance Tasmania flight paramedic Andy Summers, First Class Constable Ingrid Pajak and Constable Drew Oakden. Picture: Tasmania Police On the morning of the day he was rescued, Mr Bowman heard a helicopter in the distance as it was searching nearby.He said that was the moment when he began to give up hope thinking that may have been his only chance at rescue.Luckily, later in the day the helicopter took a final pass of area and spotted Mr Bowman’s yellow tent.”I just stood there with my orange garbage bags waving them around like a windmill, jumping up and down,” he said.”I could see the red and blue lights and I thought – this is the happiest day of my life.” “I was that happy I was running to the helicopter. The snow was probably up to my waist. “I would have crawled to the helicopter.”Mr Bowman praised the work of the search and rescue crews that came to his aid. “They are absolute heroes. They are champions,” he said.Aside from being a bit weak, Mr Bowman said he was physically fine.”I could probably afford to lose a bit of weight so that doesn’t matter,” he joked.He said the toughest part of the ordeal had been the mental anguish he experienced knowing his family was worried about him and thinking what he could have done differently.”That’s the hardest part. You continually think ‘if you hadn’t done this, if you hadn’t done that'” he said. “You know you’re alright but [your family] doesn’t.”Mr Bowman said he was committed to staying in the tent because, should he have died, at least his body would be found.Mr Bowman said his bushwalking was all based around his passion for photography.”It’s what I go out to do and it’s what I love doing,” he said.”I take good photos, it’s what I pride myself on.”Unfortunately, all his photography gear was lost when Mr Bowman lost his pack.Mr Bowman said he would continue to pursue his love of wilderness photography.”I will keep walking, I’ve just got to get my gear back,” he said.



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