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02 August - Stuart Diver and the Thredbo disaster

Australian Events for the month of August
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02 August - Stuart Diver and the Thredbo disaster

Unread postby Max ADU » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:19 pm

Today in Australian History...
Saturday, August 2, 1997
** see video of rescue below

After three days, skiing instructor Stuart Diver is pulled alive from the rubble of the collapsed Thredbo resorts.

Disaster hit holiday resort
Heavy rain,
melting snow and landfill had resulted in 2000 square metres of liquefied soil rushing down the mountainside at 11:35 pm.

Landslide was a catastrophic that occurred at the village and ski resort of Thredbo. Two ski lodges were destroyed, and a total of 18 died when about 3,500 tonnes (3,900 tons) of liquefied earth and debris came down the slope.

One of the people killed was Stuart Diver's wife.

Survivor found
Three days after the
collapse of the Alpine Way in Australia's high country on 30th July 1997, discovered Stuart Diver, 27, lay trapped between two concrete slabs, under mud, rubble and snow.

1350 volunteers and specialists in rescue operations worked in shifts around the clock to clear the rubble and find survivors. The focus changed for the rescue workers when Stuart Diver was found alive

Rescue of lone survivor
The rescue operation was made all the more dangerous by the instability of the debris and the land.

Michael Featherstone, 52, was the paramedic who stayed beside Diver through the twelve hour rescue ordeal. Diver had been buried for 66 hours, and was suffering severe hypothermia and poor circulation.

Internal injuries had
caused his body to release toxins into his bloodstream, and workers had to ensure that each step of the rescue was taken slowly and carefully: even moving Diver from a prone to vertical position was delicate and life-threatening as it could have caused a toxic shock.

When Diver was finally lifted from his concrete and rubble prison on 2 August 1997. A resounding cheer rang across the mountainside, and probably also from the tens of thousands of Australian viewers who had been watching the rescue on television

Watch on youtube.com
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