Large-scale search for two missing bushwalkers as bad weather hits
Wet weather is hindering a search for two bushwalkers missing in the Morton National Park, west of Nowra in New South Wales.
William McCarthy, 59, and Francisca de Haan, 60, set off for a three-day walk on Saturday in the Ettrema Gorge.
The alarm was raised when Mr McCarthy failed to arrive at work in Canberra yesterday.
An aerial search yesterday located the car the pair were travelling in at a four-wheel drive only access point, however poor weather grounded searching helicopters this morning.
Specialist police, the State Emergency Service and ambulance rescue personnel are currently the only people able to access the remote track.
Area subject to flooding
The area Mr McCarthy and Ms de Haan were walking in is a canyon subject to flooding in heavy rain.
Specialist rescue crews are concerned the pair may have been trapped in the gorge due to poor weather.
With more rain and storms expected today and tomorrow, and with the pair hiking in such a remote location, police say they hold serious concerns for their welfare.
“The terrain is very treacherous,” Ray Steyne from Nowra police said.
“You have to be experienced to go through there.
“The two bushwalkers are avid bushwalkers with limited experience.”
Ettrema Gorge in the Morton National Park is very remote, posing a challenge for rescuers to access the area. (Supplied: Google Maps)
Police say they hope to be able to drop more search teams on the track via the air once the weather clears.
They are also calling for anyone who knows of the pair’s bushwalking capabilities to get in contact with them as they try to establish how prepared they were for the difficult walk.
The couple did not take an emergency location beacon.