June 25, 2023
Two women missing from near Nanango since Friday have been found safe and well following a two-day search and rescue operation in the area.
Michelle Lyn Melbourne, 54, and Nikita May Bennett, 36, were last seen leaving an address on Nanango-Tarong Road around 11:00am on June 23.
The women left to go prospecting at 7 Mile Diggings on Old Esk North Road but were reported missing after they failed to return home that night.
A search and rescue began on Saturday and continued on Sunday morning.
The police helicopter, Polair, and an RACQ LifeFlight helicopter conducted an aerial search while SES, volunteers from Queensland Remote Area Tracking and local residents scoured the bushland.
Just after 8:00am, two trail bike riders reported they had found the missing women in a structure near the search area.
They reportedly heard one of the women yelling for help.
The women were sheltering inside an observation tower about four metres tall.
“The women had even spelt out an SOS sign with post it notes, hoping someone would see it,” a LifeFlight spokesperson said.
The RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter was despatched just after 9:00am and landed close to where the women were found.
A critical care doctor and QAS flight paramedic assessed the women for any injuries or medical issues.
The spokesperson said both patients were suffering from dehydration, and were also tired and sore from their ordeal.
They were airlifted to the Kingaroy Hospital in a stable condition for observation.