News & Media

Cliff rescue on Mount Arapiles

By: CFA Media

Category: Incidents - Vehicle / Rescue / Hazmat, Operational Information

  11.06 AM 8 September, 2017

Location: District 5 News

Views: 6651

CFA crews from Warrnambool, Portland and Hamilton worked with other agencies for five hours to rescue a man stuck halfway down a cliff face on Mount Arapiles late last year.

On 28 December 2016, the man had been rock climbing when he slipped and injured his ankle, rendering him unable to climb his way to safety.

Warrnambool Senior Station Officer Greg Kinross said CFA Rope Rescue teams arrived with SES, Ambulance Victoria and Police Rescue personnel, to help the man.

“There was a local climber at the bottom of the cliff who guided us to the best spot from the top where we could reach the man, which made our job a lot easier,” Greg said.

“One CFA crew member was lowered down with the stretcher and secured the man onto this apparatus so other crews could help winch the pair back down the cliff to the awaiting ambulance.

“We arrived about 4pm and had the man in the care of paramedics by around 8.30pm. Luckily it was daylight savings so we could work in fairly well-lit conditions.”

All agencies took part in an after-action review where the rescue learnings and outcomes were discussed.

“We all learnt a lot from working together in that sort of environment,” Greg said.  

“We were able to put our training into practice and the interagency response reassured everyone that training and planning is consolidated across our local emergency service crews.”

Warrnambool Fire Brigade will join other brigades and fire stations in the South West region in October for a high-angle rescue training exercise at Yambuk Wind Farm. Check online for coverage of this story.  

Watch part of the Mount Arapiles rescue here:


Last Updated: 08 September 2017