SES search for human remains

AS if the search for human remains wasn’t bad enough, police and the SES at Dairyville also have to contend with the worst of the great outdoors.

At every step they’re conscious of snakes, ticks and leeches lurking in the heavy undergrowth and they hope their overalls and boots will prevail.

One of the first things they notice as they bash their way through the thick scrub is the scorching temperatures and high humidity.

Despite all that, at the command post yesterday, Coffs Harbour City SES local controller Bob White said operations such as these were ‘just another job really’.

“We’ve done this sort of thing before. You just get in and do the job you’re asked to do,” Mr White said.

“The search is under the direction of the police. We’re searching creek banks for further remains or clothing.”

The 15 SES personnel – 12 from Coffs Harbour City and three from Corindi – combing the rugged and steep terrain gave their best, as always.

“It’s very hard-going – very thick lantana they have to push through and it’s very hot,” Mr White said.

The volunteers remained resilient despite their grim task.

“They’re positive. Land searches are part of the things they’re trained to do. It can be very grim if we find the other remains. It will be unpleasant but having said that, we have very good peer support in place.”

Coffs/Clarence crime manager, Detective Inspector Cameron Lindsay, said looking for the human remains presented plenty of challenges for police, too.

“The nature of the terrain and the fact we’re not left with a lot of information to go on makes it hard,” Mr Lindsay said.


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