Rangers allegedly missed warning signs of missing hiker
PARK Rangers allegedly ignored the van of missing hiker Shane Holian for six days because they "thought he was asleep" inside.
It was only when his friends called emergency services that a rescue effort swung into gear at Jourama Falls, south of Ingham.
Mr Holian, 61, formerly of Cairns, had embarked on a day trek at Jourama Falls and was due to leave on December 3 and drive north.
Mr Holian's friend, Rand Brassil of Mission Beach, said rangers did not pick up on warning signs despite living a stone's throw from the van.
"The rangers live on site, literally 50m away from his van that had been unattended for six days," Mr Brassil said.
"It should have rung alarm bells.
"The first day what we were quoted was 'we thought he was asleep - we didn't want to disturb him in his van.
"It is outrageous; he was registered to leave last Monday - a week ago."
He said Queensland Police and SES had taken over the ranger station.
"The rangers had been sidelined... were disgraced by the situation.
"They were very sheepish."
Mr Brassil has called for an investigation of ranger procedure.
"When I go to a national park and I go bushwalking I like to know that someone has my back," he said.
"I would think if we go through their procedures step one would be to ensure the safety of visitors to the park.
"We have been let down."
The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service was asked whether an investigation was forthcoming.
"We have been advised that as this is a Police matter, it would be inappropriate for Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to comment," a QPWS spokesman said.
Tropical Cyclone Owen has hampered searchers, who will assess the situation daily.
"Air and land Search is continuing until it is no longer feasible with the weather," a QPS spokesman said.