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Navy Begins Evacuating Stranded Tourists And Locals From Bushfire Ravaged Mallacoota

Navy Begins Evacuating Stranded Tourists And Locals From Bushfire Ravaged Mallacoota

The Australian Royal Navy has begun evacuating the first batch of people from bushfire ravaged Mallacoota.

Thousands of people fled for their lives to the small shoreline on New Year's Eve in Victoria's East Gippsland area as the bushfire edged closer to their community.

Two people have been confirmed dead in that blaze and there are 28 people who remain unaccounted for in the state.

It's been an agonising wait for everyone affected however the Navy was given the go-ahead this morning to extricate hundreds of the most vulnerable people.

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Credit: Royal Australian Navy/Twitter
Credit: Royal Australian Navy/Twitter

It will take around 20 hours for the HMAS Choules to travel from Mallacoota to Western Port in southern Victoria.

Officials have already told people that this mission will not run quickly and they will need to be patient.

Lieutenant Commander Arron Convery, the Executive Officer of HMAS Choules, said: "Once people are onboard our mission is to give them a safe haven. They will be well looked after.

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"This is very different but we are trained for this scenario. The main response we are getting from people has been gratitude. There has been a lot of emotion and hugs."

Anxious residents and tourists hear who will go first. Credit: Royal Australian Navy/Twitter
Anxious residents and tourists hear who will go first. Credit: Royal Australian Navy/Twitter

It will be a much more nervous wait for those who remain stranded on the beach after the Country Fire Authority said the bushfire situation is expected to intensify over the next few days, with the temperature tipped to go above 40C degrees.

Officials are keen to get as many people out of the area as possible over the next few hours to ensure that no one is threatened by the bushfire.

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The HMAS Choules arrived yesterday and delivered some much needed supplies like water to the people who had spent the last few days sitting and waiting for help.

Two ships are waiting off the coast, according to the Herald Sun, and this scale of evacuation is unprecedented in the state of Victoria.

Featured Image Credit: Royal Australian Navy

Topics: News, Bushfires, Australia

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.