Bushwalker’s miracle tale of survival
AN overdue bushwalker who hunkered down in his tent with limited supplies for up to 10 days has been found alive near Lake St Clair.
Michael Bowman, 57, of Victoria, was found by a Westpac Rescue Helicopter crew at his campsite on Mt Cuvier just before 4pm yesterday.
Mr Bowman appeared to be in good spirits when he touched down in Hobart, giving awaiting media crews a thumbs up as he walked from the helicopter into an ambulance about 4.20pm.
When asked how he was feeling, he replied: "Thank you, fine, beautiful."
He was taken to the Royal Hobart Hospital for a medical assessment but was believed to be in good health.
Search Controller Senior Constable Kristy Eyles said Mr Bowman first landed himself in a spot of bother after he lost most of his belongings while on a day walk to Coal Hill.
"He placed his pack down and became separated from his pack when heavy fog came into the area," she said.
"He was unable to relocate his pack and he spent a night in the cold on Coal Hill.
"The next day he was able to trace his footsteps back to his tent, where he's been for approximately the last nine to 10 days.
"Back in his tent he had his sleeping bag and a limited amount of food which has sustained him … but I reckon he will be looking forward to a steak tonight."
The search for Mr Bowman began on Sunday after he failed to return to the Lake St Clair visitor centre on Saturday as expected.
The experienced bushwalker had been carrying an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) but was unable to activate it because it was in his missing pack.
Senior Constable Eyles described the area Mr Bowman was found in as "very rugged, very snowy and very cold".
She said his survival was a reflection of his experience in the wilderness.
"The area has always been on our target list to search," Senior Constable Eyles said.
"However, due to cloud and weather conditions we've been unable to reach it until today.
"Once the helicopter had an opportunity to search that area they saw Mr Bowman in his very visible tent.
"He did all the right things in order to survive in the conditions he found himself in.
"For anyone with less experience this could have been a very different result."
EARLIER: A VICTORIAN man who was three days overdue from a bushwalk in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park has been found alive and well.
Michael Bowman, 57, of Victoria, is being taken by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter to the Royal Hobart Hospital for medical assessment as a precaution.
Mr Bowman was due to return to the Lake St Clair visitor centre on July 13.
The 57-year-old's family last heard from the experienced bushwalker almost a week ago when he told them he had set up camp at a sheltered site and was doing day trips in the Mt Cuvier area.
Heavy snow and poor weather had hampered efforts to find Mr Bowman.