THE family of missing British-Australian man Gary Tweddle has described his son as a Bear Grylls type of character, with police coordinators claiming that over 150 people would become involved in the search effort over the weekend.
Mr Tweddle went missing in the early hours of Tuesday morning after attending a work function at Fairmont Resort in the Blue Mountains suburb of Leura. He made contact with friends around midnight, telling them that he had become lost in bushland before his phone either ran out of battery or lost reception.
During Mr Tweddle’s fifteen-minute telephone conversation, he said that he was lost near a main road and thought he could see a light on a hill ahead. Detective Inspector Mick Bostock said that Mr Tweddle was “extremely fit” and regularly attended boot camps to maintain his physical fitness.
Det Insp Bostock said: “We’re going to have a bigger search area and we’re going to completely go over what we’ve done (with) fresh eyes. At this stage we’re still hopeful of finding Gary alive. If someone heard someone cooee at one o’clock on Tuesday morning, we want to know.”
The Bureau of Meteorology expects temperatures to plunge in the Blue Mountains over the weekend, with snowfall possible on Sunday. Police say that Mr Tweddle has experience in the harsh terrains of Wales and Scotland after numerous rock climbing expeditions with his father, a British army officer.
Mr Tweddle’s father David has flown from the United Kingdom with other family members to join the search for his 23-year-old son. Before departing for Sydney, David Tweddle wrote on Facebook that he was sure that he would “be drinking a beer with him (Gary) soon.”
Gary Tweddle’s sister Amy wrote that her brother is “a Tweddle, a survivor, our very own Gary ‘Bear’ Grylls.” She said that Gary’s friends and family were hopeful that he would be found soon.
Amy Tweddle wrote: “Keep up the prayers that our little Gary is just having a bit of an adventure and is safe and well.”
Gary Tweddle is described as being between 165-170cm tall, with short brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a checked shirt, jeans and a dark jacket.
Anyone with information regarding Mr Tweddle’s whereabouts should contact Katoomba police on +612 4782 8199.