BWRS Recent Callouts

Date Description
06/08/2016 - 07/08/2016

Search for missing 77 year old dementia patient in rugged bushland near Dalmeny NSW. 

BWRS Co-ordinator: P.Campblell-Allen 

09/03/2016 - 16/03/2016

BWRS search teams looking for Betty O'Pray, a 76 year old scottish lady missing since Monday and last heard of by mobile phone on Tuesday in the Medlow Bath-Katoomba area. 


 BWRS assisted Blue Mountains Police Rescue and Ambulance SCAT paramedics in locating and walking out a party of 7 bushwalkers overdue in Cedar Creek.

16/10/2013 - 20/10/2013

BWRS participated in Operation Wittenoom, a major land search exercise run by NSW Police Rescue in Barrington Tops. The target for the exercise was VH-MDX, a Cessna aircraft which crashed in Barrington Tops in 1981 and has never been found. BWRS also assisted in the evidence gathering, investigation and planning of this search.


 BWRS assisted in the search for an elderly man at Katoomba.

17/07/2013 - 24/07/2013

BWRS assisted Police during an extended search for Gary Tweddle, reported missing at Leura. BWRS had a number of land search and vertical teams assist in this search. The terrain they checked was very rugged despite being very close to civilisation.

Update 2014: Newspaper article about a drug dealer linked to Gary Tweddle's disappearance: Blue Mountains Gazette 10 December 2014


As BWRS was running the 2013 Navshield event, a child was reported missing at the nearby Dunns Swamp campground. BWRS diverted some of its event safety officials to help find the child. The child was found several kilometres from the campground a few hours later.

15/06/2013 - 16/06/2013

BWRS assisted Police in an evidence search at Blackheath to assist enquiries into a missing person.


BWRS assisted Police in the search for Pradeep Strawn, reported missing from Charlottes Pass in Koscuisko National Park.

09/02/2012 - 11/02/2012

BWRS searched for a missing depressed 48 yr old female in Pennant Hills near the Benowie Track


 8 BWRS members did a Community Clean-Up under the Bungonia Lookouts.  Bungonia State Recreation Area.

26/11/2011 - 27/11/2011

Forensic evidence search for a missing male along the Macquarie Pass


Search for a missing 59 year old depressed female around Kurnell and the surrounding headland.


BWRS was called out to assist in the search for two overdue canyoners, suspected to be in Looking Glass or Firefly Canyon. They were found safe and well by a PRS team as a BWRS team was on-route.


BWRS was tasked to search for a missing 75 yr old female around the Lane Cove National Park bushland.

16/04/2011 - 17/04/2011

 BWRS provided the Safety Response Team for the 2011 NSW Autumn Rogaine at Gundy.  We only had minor incidents to respond to, thank goodness.  

Safety Officers Report   


A man was reported missing, last seen walking from the suburban area of Gwandalan, on the southern shore of Lake Macqarie, into nearby bushland on Monday 12 April. A search by local services failed to find him on Tuesday and BWRS assisted in a larger scale search on 14 April.


BWRS was asked to assist in the search for a missing 22 month old toddler who went missing from a house on the outskirts of Taree. The toddler was found mid morning safe and well.


BWRS assisted in the search for a man missing in the Pennant Hills area, aroudn the southern end of the Benowie track. BWRS was tasked to search the cliffs and gorges in the area with our vertical rescue qualified members. The man was found safe and well.

25/09/2010 - 26/09/2010

BWRS provided Safety Response Teams for te NSW Rogaining Championship at Abecrombe NP.

Safety Officers Report 


BWRS provided the Safety Coordinator for the Lake Macquarie Rogain 2010. Location: Little Valley Road, Mandalong - Jilliby State Conservation Area

Safety Coordinator Report


BWRS provided 2 operators to assist in the search for a teenager who fell off a boat into the Woronora River, near Sutherland. The missing teenager was found deceased, presumed drowned, near where he fell.


 Missing male 85 year male with dementia. Ten BWRS members responded and were tasked to search Hazelbrook Creek and parts of Woodford Creek.


 Overdue canyoners (6) in Wollangambe Canyon, Mount Wilson. BWRS was tasked to search Wollangambe 1 and Wollangambe 2 canyons. Missing party were found by helicopter 1.5 km north of Wollangambe.


BWRS was called out to assist in the search for a missing elderly man from a retirement home at Wyoming, north of Gosford. 5 BWRS personnel responded, along with Police, Newcastle Police Rescue, around 75 SES volunteers and several RFS volunteers. No sign of the man was found.


Provided safety response coordination for the 2009 Lake Macquarie Rogaine.The BWRS coordinatoor of this event (Dug Floyd) wrote the following report on the event.

11/07/2009 - 12/07/2009

Assist Katoomba Police Rescue search for a missing man. Jamie Neale was staying at Katoomba YHA and was suspected to have walked to Mount Solitary but no firm evidence as to his intended trip was known. BWRS assisted the search for two days and was called off. Jamie was found two days later by a bushwalker some distance from the search area.

09/05/2009 - 10/05/2009

Assist Police Rescue search for a missing female suspected murdered and buried in a property near Parkes. 7 members attended. Media coverage from the Parkes Champion Post - Page 1 - Page 2


A 25yo male was last seen surfing at Wollongong's City Beach at 2am, 4/4/09. BWRS was asked to assist with the search for this man. No signs of the missing man were found.

02/04/2009 - 03/04/2009

BWRS was asked to assist in providing operators for a telephone hotline established in response to flooding in northern NSW. BWRS personnel were rostered to provide the service (in collaboration with other Sydney VRA squads) but at the last minute the hotline was moved to the DOCS/SES call centre and we were called off.


BWRS assisted with the search for a missing 16yo girl at Currawang, between Collector and Goulburn. No sign was found but the search was called off as new information suggested she was elsewhere.

10/02/2009 - 13/02/2009

BWRS provided people to man a telephone hotline established during a severe bushfire crisis in Victoria. The hotline was established to process donations and offers of assistance. The hotline was manned for 15 hours a day in the Sydney Police Operations Centre (SPOC) at the Goulburn Street Police Centre, Sydney.


Assisted Blue Mountains Police Rescue Service in the search for two men overdue after doing Du Faurs Canyon. They were quickly found after making their own way out of the canyon. They had missed several exit points and ended up quite a way downstream from the normal exit points.


Assist Police Rescue search for a male, 30 hours overdue on a solo bushwalk near Berrima. He was located safe and well at 23:00 hrs, before we drove down. 10 BWRS Members responded.


Assist Police Rescue search for a 19 year old male missing overnight near Berrima.  He was located safe and well at 11:00 hrs.  A call for help heard by one of the search parties was treated as a separate incident.  A search failed to locate anyone in difficulties, although a group of climbers were operating not far away. 10 BWRS Members responded.


 BWRS prvided a Safety Coordinator for the Anual Lake Macquarie Rogain in the Watagan Mountains.


Assist Australian Federal Police to search for a 31 year old woman, missing since setting out for a day walk on Wednesday in the Nursery Swamp area, Namadgi National Park south of Canberra. She was found live and well early in the day. 7 BWRS members attended.

ABC article - PDF


Called in to assist NSW Police and the Cave Rescue Squad with the protracted rescue of a caver trapped by a rock-fall at Wombeyan Caves. The man was successfully rescued.

SMH article - PDF

22/09/2007 - 23/09/2007

Search for a 63 year old man missing since 16th. He was dressed in light clothing and running from Corin Dam to Mt Gingera ACT, over night temperatures were very low at the time. The man was not located but a clue was passed onto police who will search with dogs. 10 BWRS members attended.


The squad was called out to meet at Mill Creek camping ground in the Dharug NP near Wiseman’s Ferry. A school group of ten plus a teacher were benighted while doing a Duke of Edinburgh navigational exercise. 7 BWRS members attended but were stood down soon after when the group was located by a search helicopter. The benighted party were brought out fit and well.


BWRS provided a Safety Coordinator for the 2007 Lake Macquarie Rogain.  In te Watagan Mountains.  An ambulance was assisted to a competitor with head injuries off track. 


Called by Lithgow VRA, to assist Police in the search for two males, reported missing on Monday lunch time from a trip to Starlight Canyon on Sunday. They were located in the canyon, stranded by a flooded underground section and unable to climb out the sheer walls they had abseiled down. They were assisted up the abseil, by a search party who walked in. Temperatures in the area at the time were down to -7 degrees, and a snow storm was forecast for later on Tuesday.


Called by police rescue to help locate an elderly male, missing for 3 days near Medowie. Nothing was found and the search was called off when more information became available.

13/04/2007 - 15/04/2007

Called by Police Rescue to assist in the search for a missing solo bushwalker attempting the Kanangra to Katoomba walk in the Blue Mountains. His body was found by a BWRS team and Polair below a cliff in rugged country some distance off his intended route, near Mt Cloudmaker. 6 BWRS teams in the field plus base personnel.

SMH Report 1 PDF - SMH Report 2 PDF


Called by Police Rescue to assist in the search for a missing male near Thredbo. Located safe and well.

15/12/2006 - 19/12/2006

Called out by Police Rescue to assist in the search for a 17 year old male lost in the bush on the eastern side of Mt Solitary since 11 December. His body was located 19 December. 32 BWRS members attended in the field and at base.

SMH Report PDF - Daily Telegraph Report PDF


Called in by Police Rescue to assist in the search for a 54 year old female lost in the bush near Wisemans Ferry. She had rung 000 and said she was lost after looking for her dogs in the national park adjoining her property. Police, including Polair, searched for her on 13 November but was unable to locate her so BWRS, SES and RFB units were requested to assist the following day. She was found that morning in good condition and was winched out by Careflight rescue helicopter. 3 BWRS teams in the field plus base personnel.


Assisted Police to conduct an evidence search relating to a suspected murder at Swan Haven on the South Coast.

SMH Report PDF


A 21yo male was overdue from a shooting trip near Captains Flat in adverse weather with rain and snow. A BWRS team was travelling to the scene when he was found by local emergency services in a severe hypothermic state.


Search for evidence relating to a suspected murder of a woman some years ago in Sydney. Police had reason to believe an area just south of Nowra was relevant to the case so BWRS was called in to assist.


Called in by Police Rescue to assist in the search for a missing 62yo female missing from the township of Nymboida. Members of the SES, RFS and Nymboida Wilderness Rescue also attended. She was found early that afternoon.


Called in by Police Rescue to assist in the search for a missing two year old child, missing from a family camp at Burrill Lake, near Ulladulla. He was found safe and well shortly before lunch.

SMH Report PDF


Called in by Berrima District VRA to help search for a mountain biker who failed to return after a ride to Bowral. He was quickly found at the head of a trial safe and well.


Called in by Police Rescue to assist in a search for a father and son overdue on a walk along the lower reaches of the Grose River. Shortly after we were activated the missing party was found and we were stood down before any BWRS people arrived at the scene.


Search for an orienteer who did not return from an event on the previous day. The search involved 16 BWRS personnel, Goulburn Police Rescue Squad, Goulburn SES, Police helicopter (Polair) and Southcare Rescue helicopter. The missing person was found mid morning on a fire trail about 10km away from the event location.

After this search the missing person and their orienteering club made a substantial donation to BWRS. We thank them for their generosity!


Search for Matthew Weirich, a young American Mormon visiting Australia for his missionary year. While visiting Grand Canyon Lookout at Bundanoon he fell down the cliff (approximately 90 metres high!) A search by Berrima VRA that evening failed to find him. The next day we were called in. The slopes below the cliff were extensively searched and the cliff face searched by abseilers. Matthew was found mid morning by a BWRS member and amazingly he was alive. He was winched into Westpac Rescue helicopter and taken to Wollongong Hospital - and it turned out he suffered no serious injury.

This rescue created a lot of media interest.

But most importantly for us, after the rescue the family kept in contact with us and the other emergency services who assisted. It was great to meet Matthew's friends and family and see how happy they were for our part in returning Matthew safely to them.


Search in the Govetts Leap area for an elderly man who was last seen 3 weeks previously at Blackheath Railway Station. Vertical Teams abseiled over the edges so that they could clearly see the ledges and crevasses on the cliff face.

13/02/2003 - 14/02/2003

Search for a missing solo walker in the Budawangs. The lone male hiker left Yadboro Flat camping ground to do a day trip to Pigeon House Mountain. 14 members attended.

25/11/2002 - 26/11/2002

Search for 3 missing canyoners in Bungleboori Creek. Search conducted with Blue Mountains Climbers Rescue Group, Lithgow VRA and Lithgow Police. Footprints of the missing party was found by one of our combined BWRS/BMCRG teams which allowed Polair to follow downstream and locate the missing party late on 26 November.

11/11/2002 - 13/11/2002

Assisting Berrima VRA in warning residents of the Bundanoon of possible evacuations due to bushfires.


Search for a missing 23 year man, Philippe Fortin, around Bundeena. Search done in collaboration with VRA K9 search and rescue.


Called out by VRA K9 to search for a missing 27 year old man in the Wanda sand dunes near Cronulla.


In conjunction with Berrima District VRA, assisted Wollondilly Rural Fire Service with vertical rescue personnel to help establish a back burn across Cataract Gorge, near Wilton. Our role was to get fire fighting equipment into the bottom of the gorge, and get it back again afterwards. 6 BWRS personnel responded.

31/12/2001 - 10/01/2002

Assisted with DVR (disaster victim registration) for the NSW bushfire crisis. Our role was manning the bushfire hotline, a 24 hours a day telephone call centre to give information on fire conditions, road closures, evacuated people and any other information relevant to the bushfire crisis. BWRS supplied up to 3 of the approximately 15 people manning the phones at any one time, in 12 hour shifts. 12 BWRS personnel responded.


Participated in the unveiling of the memorial to volunteers killed during community service at Mrs Macquaries Chair. 4 BWRS personnel involved. David Sheppard was part of the flag party representing the VRA specialist squads.

26/09/2000 - 27/09/2000

Called out to assist in the search a overdue solo woman walker in the Budawangs. Missing woman found by Polair. 5 BWR personnel involved.

02/05/2000 - 04/05/2000

Called out to assist in the search for 4 lost teenage bushwalkers lost in the Budawangs, in Morton Nation Park inland from Ulladulla. After a large scale search involving Police, SES, RFS, VRA, Southcare rescue helicopter, 2 Polair helicopters, a fixed wing aircraft and a Navy Squirrel helicopter and a Navy Sea king helicopter. The missing people were located by a BWR party in the head of Hollands Gorge. Approximately 50 BWR people responded.


Called out to assist in the search for 2 lost 10 year old girls reported missing in the Wombeyan Caves area. Girls were found quickly in the morning on a nearby fire trail. Approximately 20 personnel involved.

23/10/1999 - 24/10/1999

Participated in Operation Albatross, the annual search and rescue exercise for Canberra and Southern NSW based rescue squads. This year the exercise continued the search for the 4 missing snowboarders, lost in the Snowy Mountains since August. 2 personnel involved for 24 man-hours work.

27/04/1999 - 02/05/1999

Assisted with Sydney Eastern Suburbs storm damage response. Supplied vertically qualified personnel (V3) for securing roofs of multi-storey buildings. Non-vertical BWR personnel were also involved as support. 12 personnel involved for 100 man-hours work. The minister for Emergency Services, Bob Debus, awarded the VRA a certificate in recognition of our work on this job.

20/04/1999 - 24/04/1999

Assisted with Newcastle Disease outbreak at Mangrove Mountain near Gosford. 4 BWR personnel were involved for 60 man-hours work. Not exactly our normal rescue work, but an essential public service never-the-less!


Assisted Berrima VRA and Police in searching for a party of 5 overdue in the Nattai Gorge, west of Berrima. BWR sent 3 parties into the field, along with a forth party supplied by Wollongong SES. The terrain being searched was rugged gorge country. The party was found by one of our personnel in a Civil Air Patrol light aircraft in a remote gorge (Civil Air Patrol is also a VRA squad). The party was winched into the Polair helicopter and returned safely. 15 BWR personnel responded for 75 man-hours work.


Assisted Berrima VRA in searching for 4 year old boy missing from a property near Mittagong. The boy was found around 9am by Polair (the Police Helicopter). 12 BWR personnel responded for 60 man-hours work.


Assisted Windsor Police in searching for a party of 2 bushwalkers overdue on a walk in the Colo River Gorge, about 80km NW of Sydney. Heavy rain just before their walk had caused the river to rise, slowing their progress through the rugged country. They were found by the Channel 7 helicopter around 3pm and returned safely.