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Rescue operation for Canadian in Australian Alps continues

Simon Kent

By Simon Kent, Special to the Toronto Sun

Rescue Crew Officer Luke Ashford uses a thermal imaging camera to search for a missing Canadian man in the Snowy Mountains in Australia's Kosciuszko National Park (Westpac Life Saver Helicopter/QMI Agency)

Rescue Crew Officer Luke Ashford uses a thermal imaging camera to search for a missing Canadian man in the Snowy Mountains in Australia's Kosciuszko National Park (Westpac Life Saver Helicopter/QMI Agency)

TORONTO - 

Snow, ice and minus-degree temperatures are hampering the search for a Canadian man missing in the Australian Alps.

Prabhdeep Srawn, 25, hasn’t been heard from since parking his rental car on May 13 in the village of Charlotte Pass in Kosciuszko National Park.

The car was found the same day and local police say they believe he got lost. A search was mounted within 48-hours and is set to continue into the coming week.

“We now have close to 80 police and rescue personnel in the area,” senior constable Chris Nash of the NSW Police told the Toronto Sun. “The search has been gradually building over the past two weeks and we now have special alpine teams here adding their expertise.

“We are still hopeful he will be found alive and we have narrowed the area we are looking at down to 100-square kilometres or so. This is still very much a search and rescue operation.”

Srawn was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario and is a former Canadian Forces reservist from 2005 to 2011. He belonged to the 31 Service Battalion’s Hamilton Company and had military training in extreme conditions.

The missing man has been studying in Australia for two years, reading law at Bond University in the northern state of Queensland.

Mr Srawn’s cousin Ruby on Friday posted a video online pleading for more assistance in the search for him.

‘’Please tell the local government of New South Wales to send more troops out, to get more manpower on the ground, because if anyone is still up there waiting to be found, it is my cousin Prabh,’’ she said.

‘’He is out there, his voices [sic] have been heard, recently his water bottle has been found on a trial, he’s there somewhere.’’

On a Facebook page titled ‘’Help, Find Prabh Srawn’’, a user on Saturday posted a copy of a letter dated May 23 from the World Sikh Organisation of Canada to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, asking him to encourage the Australian authorities to increase the search efforts for the missing man.

Const. Nash made it clear that all efforts are being made to rescue the Canadian.

“People should understand it is winter here and the area he is lost in is mountainous with few access roads. We have increased aerial support but that too is being hampered by snow and rain.”

 


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