‘I’m very happy to see you’ were Patricia Robinson’s first words to rescuers, a very welcome sight after she spent 24 hours lost in bush.
The Yackandandah woman had been walking with her husband on land they had recently purchased on Running Creek Road – about 10 minutes out of Dederang – when they became separated.
He raised the alarm at 1pm on Sunday, and it was 2pm the next day before the family received word their loved one had been found, alive and well.
A member of Bush Search and Rescue Victoria, a volunteer group, was the one to find Mrs Robinson.
BSRV field organiser Peter Campbell said the 48-year-old had been found behind a high ridge.
“She got disorientated and actually went inland, about 1.5 kilometres to 2 kilometres in,” he said.
“One of our team walked up a ridge for a considerable distance, and when they were heading back to complete their search task they found her – she was up quite high.
“She heard our search team go by closely, she heard their radios, and started calling out – that was how we found her in the end.”
Mr Campbell said after assessing Mrs Robinson, it was decided she would be walked out on foot.
“She was in reasonably good shape, considering she spent the night out,” he said.
“I don’t think another night out would have been pleasant, so it was good to find her when we did.”
Victoria Police had thrown all their available resources at the search, with police airwing scouring the property on Sunday night, and returning on Monday morning.
The mounted police were also called in from Melbourne, a police dog was used and local members were on foot.
North East SES, CFA and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning also assisted.
Mr Campbell said it may have been his volunteers who found Mrs Robinson, but it was all the organisations working as a team that enabled the positive result.
“Well done to Victoria police and thanks to the SES for their support,” he said.
An Ambulance Victoria spokeswoman said Mrs Robinson was in a stable condition and had been taken to Wodonga Hospital for a check-over.