Music festival visitor spends cool night in Grampians bushlands

A SEARCH in Grampians bushland for a missing classical musician ended on a high note when he was found safe and well about  noon yesterday.

The 50-year-old Sydney man, who had travelled to  Dunkeld for the Australian String Quartet’s Festival of Music, was said to be in high spirits after his ordeal which began when he went for a leisurely walk at Mount Abrupt on Sunday afternoon.

Search co-ordinator Sergeant Paul Stanhope, of  Hamilton police, said the man had driven to the mountain car park and set off on a walkway, but became disorientated.

“He raised the alarm by telephoning for assistance about 1pm, but we weren’t able to get a full-scale search under way before dark and he spent the night in the bush,” Sergeant Stanhope told The Standard.

“Fortunately he was fairly well attired for the cool night weather.

“He said he could see a helicopter flying overhead last night and headlights in the distance.

“Yesterday morning some searchers heard a voice calling out and located him about 500 metres south of Cassidys Gap Road at 11.55am.”

Sergeant Stanhope said the search team involved 23 State Emergency Service members, six police officers, including the search and rescue squad, and one member of the dog squad plus two Parks Victoria staff.

A  police air wing helicopter set out for Dunkeld, but was turned back  when he was found.

“They all did a great job and covered a lot of territory,” Sergeant Stanhope said.

The  string quartet performances were scheduled from Friday until today featuring Guadagnini instruments handcrafted in Italy between 1743-1784. The quartet  was joined by guest artists for five   concert programs.

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