Australian of the YearPrint Page
Plaque awarded to the community of Beaconsfield after the mine rescue in 2006.
The Beaconsfield Mine collapse occurred on 25 April 2006 after an earthquake of approximately 2.3 on the Richter-scale . Of the seventeen people who were in the mine at the time, fourteen escaped immediately following the collapse, one was killed and the remaining two were found alive using a remote-controlled device.
Heat-sensing cameras were employed for five days after the quake, and on 30 April rescuers ventured deep into the unstable mine and found the two men – or at least heard them reply. They were alive, but partially buried in rubble. While the first rescuers retreated to a more stable location, communication was established via a microphone placed near to the rock pile the miners were trapped under. For the next eight days the long pipe was their connection to the outside world. Rescue attempts were hampered by fears of further rock falls, and rock five times harder than concrete made the rescue timeline unpredictable. Kept up-to-date via a constant stream of reports from the media, many Australians sat on the edge of their seats as rescuers inched closer.
On 9 May 2006, Brant Webb and Todd Russell were freed from their underground cage, after spending two weeks trapped in the collapsed Beaconsfield goldmine.
|Address:||West Street, Grubb Shaft Museum, Beaconsfield, 7270|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -41.201626|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS
Tasmanian Local Hero
The Beaconsfield Community
For its Community Spirit
Few communities have captured the world's attention as the mining town of Beaconsfield did in 2006. For two weeks, the world joined the people of Beaconsfield in their rollercoaster ride of despair, hope and, eventually, their indescribable joy as church bells rang out for the first time since the end of World War 11 marking the rescue of Brant Webb and Todd Russell as well as their grief for fellow miner Larry Knight.
The folk of Beaconsfield have known since the discovery in 1877 of quartz studded with gold that mining is a way of life. Its people have always understood what binds them. With that great story of survival and rescue , the rest of the world has also come to understand the power of mateship, community spirit and teamwork that drove the tremendous effort behind the miners rescue. The world saluted the wonderful support given to the rescuers by this united community and for the graceful hospitality with which they embraced their visitors.