Tuesday, September 16, 2008

'Lost' Daniel rescues dog

The Veivers family and the Ray family were good friends in the old days in Kuranda. Great to see that the tough pioneer spirit of the old days lives on in one of the younger Vievers. In what this young guy did I can recognize what my father Frank and my grandfather Jack would have done

DANIEL Veivers shrugged off injuries, fatigue and the advice of his own rescuers to return to dense rainforest to find the dog he was forced to leave behind.

Mr Veivers last night emerged from Crystal Cascades with starving staffordshire terrier Max, after using the help of a professional tree climber to use a harness to lower the dog from a 14m-high cliff face.

Lost in the rugged wilderness between Speewah and Redlynch since Saturday, a desperate Mr Veivers had left his dog tied to a tree yesterday morning and jumped from the top of a waterfall into the water below in an attempt find a way out of the bushland.

Mr Veivers was first reported missing on Sunday and a full-scale SES search began early yesterday.

Fighting the cold, Mr Veivers spent two nights curled up next to Max. "Max saved my life," he said. "He kept me warm, he kept me company. It broke my heart to walk away but I had no choice. "I was always determined to go back for my best mate,"

Clearly shaken and fighting fatigue, Mr Veivers returned with a group of about 10 others with flashlights and climbing gear about 3pm yesterday to find Max.

They scaled a cliff face then lowered the dog on a harness. On returning last night, Max lapped up a can of sundried tomato and onion tuna in about 10 seconds.

However, emergency crews were furious the group of friends had gone back into the bush as nightfall approached.

They had told the family to stay away and had assured them a search team would find Max and bring him home when it was safe to do so. "They’re trying to get up to an area that Daniel said he couldn’t get down from earlier," a police spokesman said.

SES regional director Wayne Coutts said the group risked their lives by going back.

"It was absolutely ridiculous to try that at night," he said. "We would not send searchers into that country at night."

Mr Veivers wandered just 8km as the crow flies, Emergency Management Queensland Area Director Wayne Hepple said. "(But) where he’s gone and come back down you could double that," he said.

Good weather and clearly visible mountain peaks helped Mr Veivers navigate through the bush, eventually emerging at Crystal Cascades with just cuts and bruises.

"He popped out down the bottom, made a phone call on somebody’s mobile and called his father," Mr Hepple said.

"We were quite fortunate he wasn’t injured and able to move, that he was able to keep moving downward and we’ve found him."

Mr Veivers was treated by ambulance officers.

Daniel’s mother Elly was yesterday relieved her son had been found and said he had little choice but to leave the dog to save his own life.

"When he reached the waterfall he sat there for four hours thinking what to do," she said. "He knew he had to tie Max up. He couldn’t carry such a heavy dog into the

After saving Max, Mr Veivers said he was glad the ordeal was over. "It was pretty scary at times," he said. "I was totally lost and had no sense of direction. I was pretty scared for my life," he said.


No comments: