VICSES volunteers return for third day of search operation

VICSES volunteers return for third day of search operation

06/02/2024, 12:00 PM

VICSES volunteers perform a search in the Canadian Forest and surrounds, 6th February 2024 (photo credit: VICSES)

Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) volunteers have been assisting Victoria Police, since Sunday, in the search for Ballarat East woman, Samantha.

Today 23 VICSES volunteers are at the Canadian Forest supporting search efforts, from across a wide variety of units, including VICSES South Barwon, Bannockburn, Ballarat, Woodend, Gisborne, Melton, and Bacchus Marsh Units.

The terrain at the search location is arduous, with bushland and sparse shrubbery sloping down into canopied parts that open out on to large paddocks.

The weather has been varied, with Sunday’s hot and dry conditions giving way to a chilly wind and persistent rain throughout Monday.

The volunteers are supported by a Forward Operating Vehicle, which relays operational communications to an Incident Commander on site, in addition to a VICSES staff member based at the Buninyong Police Station, since Sunday, to coordinate with Victoria Police.

A multi-agency effort, with VICSES volunteers and staff also working together with volunteers from the Country Fire Authority, along with volunteers from Search and Rescue Dogs Australia, as well as members of the community; who have arrived in their hundreds to support Victoria Police.

In total over this three-day period, a total of almost 40 VICSES volunteers have assisted in this search. VICSES will prepare further crews to assist and join in the search as requested.

We all hope for a positive outcome in the search for Samantha, and we thank our dedicated SES volunteers for their time.

VICSES volunteers muster at Buninyong, Tuesday 6th February (photo credit: VICSES)