Hikers rescued after spending night lost on Mt Maroon

TWO bushwalkers spent a harrowing night lost at Mt Maroon after rescue helicopters failed to find the pair on Saturday night.

An emergency rescue helicopter found the man and woman, both in their early 20s, yesterday morning and dropped an emergency supply package of food, water and an SES radio shortly before SES rescuers reached them on foot in the dense, steep terrain close to the summit of the mountain, south of Boonah.

The 25-year-old Woolloongabba man phoned police for help about 2pm on Saturday. A police helicopter used the GPS signal co-ordinates from the mobile phone call to search for the hikers but was unable to find them in the dense terrain as night fell.

A Rescue 500 helicopter equipped with infra-red equipment joined the search but could not locate them.

The man and a 22-year-old Coomera woman had set out for a day hike and had not brought extra provisions for the trek.

Police advised the hikers to remain at the location until the search could continue at daylight. Thunderstorms had circled Saturday night but temperatures remained fairly mild for the night.

The Rescue 500 helicopter returned at first daylight and found the hikers at 7am, but could not winch them out due to the terrain.

Scenic Rim SES deputy local controller Graham Stumer said a search party of four SES volunteers set out on foot early yesterday morning, joined by teams from Boonah and Beaudesert, and reached the hikers about 8.30am.

"They walked them out from there," he said. "They weren't too distressed. They had a few scratches, no injuries.

"It was a fairly mild night but it would probably still get a bit cool out there. There was a thunderstorm that circled around just after dark but it passed over so they were fairly lucky."

SES volunteers who rescued the hikers said it was a warning for bushwalkers to always take extra provisions.

It was a busy weekend for Scenic Rim SES as teams were also deployed Saturday afternoon to rescue an injured bushwalker near O'Reilly's Retreat, in the Gold Coast hinterland.

A 30-year-old woman was taken from the Box Forrest Circuit track by stretcher after she suffered an ankle injury.

Mr Stumer said the woman's partner had to leave her to get help when he could not get mobile phone reception and walked for one hour before he was able to phone for help.

The woman was taken by ambulance to Canungra for medical treatment.



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