GPS fails lost rider

Police yesterday urged motorists to use common sense when following the directions provided by their GPS equipment.

They issued the plea after a motorcyclist, 53, became stranded on a treacherous mountain track in the dark during heavy rain on Thursday.

The Newcastle man was riding in rugged terrain behind Mount Stanley on a trip from Wodonga to Bright where he planned to meet friends.

At the overflowing Myrtleford Creek, he couldn’t get his motorbike up a steep, muddy hill.

His smart phone screen had stopped working in the wet and police said only a stroke of luck had allowed him to still use it to call them after 10.30pm on Thursday.

Two police, from Myrtleford and Bright, set out to find the man who wasn’t sure where he was.

They found him at about 12.45am yesterday, with the help of their vehicle’s siren and flashing lights.

Myrtleford’s Sgt Paul Evans said they couldn’t get their four-wheel-drive vehicle into the rugged and dangerous area where the man was lost and so they had searched for him on foot.

“He’s very lucky we found him. It’s a very risky and treacherous section,” he said.

“There was not much keeping him from going over a ravine.”

Sgt Evans said he was unsure where the man had left the bitumen for the track and he probably didn’t know either.

But he said the man has been wise to stop once he reached the creek.

“GPS will give you the straight-line quickest route and people have to understand that could be a dirt track, a logging track or a fire track,” he said.

“A GPS is good stuff, but it’s not the encyclopedia of knowledge — you don’t have to live and die by it. You have to use common sense.

“It happens often.”

Sgt Evans said police had driven the man, who had mild hypothermia, to Bright.

The man returned to the area with police yesterday to retrieve his bike.