POLICE are reviewing the search for a missing 76-year-old bushwalker in Tasmania’s far south-west, and have conceded there is “little hope of finding him alive”.
James Hugh McLean, of Flinders Island, was last seen on November 12 before he set off on the Huon Track walk in the Tahune area the following day. He intended to walk to Melaleuca before returning on December 13.
He did not reach his food drop at Melaleuca.
As part of a week-long search, ground search parties have covered more than 100 kilometres of walking tracks leading in and out of the area.
Acting Inspector Andrew O’Dwyer said the areas had also been “extensively searched” by air when weather conditions were favourable.
“Despite our considerable efforts, police hold grave fears for Mr McLean,” he said.
“Given the length of time he has been missing, the lack of food sources within the area and the difficulty of the terrain, we must be realistic that if Mr McLean is within the South West National Park, there is now little hope of finding him alive.
“A thorough search review will be conducted to re-evaluate any significant leads, clues, calculations and historical intelligence.
“We remain in close contact with Mr McLean’s family and our thoughts continue to be with them at this difficult time.”
Anyone who may have come across or seen Mr McLean after November 13 is encouraged to contact police on 131 444.