One of two snowboarders missing on Victoria's highest peak
has been found dead in an avalanche.
Police are continuing the search for the man's friend but
suspect he may also have died.
Search and rescue members have been combing Mt Bogong for
clues to the whereabouts of Martin Buckland, 33, from Yarra
Junction, and Daniel Kerr, 32, from Hawthorn, who failed to
return to Melbourne on Saturday from their snowboarding trip.
The identity of the man found by police has not been
Inspector Dave Ryan from Wangaratta police said his body was
dug out of the snow about 400 metres down a slope on Eskdale
"We've got one male who has lost his life and we are still
searching for the second male, but we don't know the identity
of the deceased at this stage," he told reporters at the
Inspector Ryan said the families of both men were informed
soon after the body was found about 10.30am on Monday.
"I have spoken with both families and it is a very tragic
time for them. We really do feel for them," he said.
There is little hope the second man survived, Inspector Ryan
"Essentially we are trying to recover the second body," he
Police will use probes to search the avalanche field and
clues from objects found around the first man's body to find
the second man.
The body will be sent to the coroner in Melbourne.
Inspector Ryan said there had been an average of one high
country snow rescue a week recently.
He urged snow-goers to develop a better understanding of the
snow environment, focus on pre-planning and assessing the
weather, advise loved ones where they are going and invest in
good safety equipment.
The missing men were highly experienced and were well
equipped, he said.
"The tragedy now is that a couple of nice young blokes have
lost their lives thinking they were doing everything right,
so we really need to make sure everybody is aware of what the
real risks are of playing in the high country," he said.
Inspector Ryan said searchers are trying to follow an
electronic signal they believe may lead them to the second
man. The source of the signal is not known.
Weather conditions for the search will worsen tomorrow.
"Conditions on top of the hill are still quite good. Some
fairly high cloud coming in but we would really hope that
this is wrapped up today because conditions tomorrow will
really make it quite challenging."