Brett awarded for his bravery

A FORMER Stawell miner has been rewarded posthumously for bravery.

The late Brett Chalmers.

The late Brett Chalmers.

The late Brett Chalmers was announced as a recipient of Bravery Citation in the 2014 National Bravery Awards.

Chalmers took part in the dramatic rescue of Brant Webb and Todd Russell from the collapsed Beaconsfield mine in Tasmania in 2006. Both Webb and Russell had been trapped for 14 days in the mine.

On the night of April 25, 2006, a substantial rock fall incident occurred underground at the Beaconsfield Gold Mine where seventeen miners were working.

Three of the miners were unaccounted for and several days later, the body of one of the missing miners was recovered.

Within 24 hours, rescuers were able to make contact with the two remaining men who were trapped almost a kilometre below the surface.

On April 30, a team with extensive knowledge of low-intensity explosives arrived at the Beaconsfield Mine, a few of which had travelled from the Stawell Gold Mine, including Brett Chalmers.

The team, also comprising Darren Flanagan, Scott Franklin and Jeremy Rowlings, worked in pairs at levels of up to approximately 925 metres underground during 12-hour shifts.

They initially carried out test blasting while a raise borer was used to drill a one metre diameter tunnel about sixteen metres through the rock, to within approximately two metres, underneath the miners.

Over the next twenty-nine hours, the explosives team meticulously fired more than sixty low-level intensity explosives to blast another metre towards the men.

Rescue teams then used hand held jackhammers to cut through the last metre of rock to reach the miners who were rescued on May 9, 2006.

For their actions, the miners were all recognised by the award of the Group Bravery Citation.

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