Search for missing bushwalker in state’s far south-west continues today

Police are continuing to search for a missing experienced 76 year old bushwalker who is overdue from a one month trek in the state’s far south-west.


Today police are searching the area using the Westpac Rescue Helicopter covering the tracks leading in and out of the area.


James Hugh McLean, of Flinders Island, was last seen on approximately 12 November before he started a one month walk in the south-west region.


Mr McLean signed into the Huon Track walk in the Tahune area on 13 November and was planning to walk to Melaleuca and explore some of the surrounding areas before returning on 13 December.


Mr McLean did not reach his food drop in Melaleuca and subsequently he has not returned home. He is a reasonably experienced walker who has completed walks in this area before.


Acting Inspector Andrew O’Dwyer said that more than 100km of walking tracks leading in and out of the area had been covered by both air and on the ground during the week-long search.


“Sadly, police hold grave fears for Mr McLean. Given the length of time he has been missing, the lack of food supplies and the difficulty of the terrain, the hopes of finding Mr McLean alive are fading,” Acting Inspector O’Dwyer said.


“We remain in close contact with Mr McLean’s family and our thoughts continue to be with them at this difficult time.”


Police are calling for assistance from the public and ask that anybody who may have come across Mr McLean either during the walk or who may have seen him since contact Police on 131444.