New images of Halls Gap rescue of Melbourne bushwalker Julio ‘Lester’ Ascui in the Grampians released

Northern Grampians Police have released new images of the moments just after Melbourne bushwalker Julio ‘Lester’ Ascui was found alive after five days lost near Halls Gap last week.

Police shared the images on their newly formed Eyewatch Facebook page for Stawell, Ararat and Yarriambiack forces.

“It has been an incredible start to 2018,” police posted on Facebook.

“Northern Grampians Police Service Area members were thrilled to help reunite Keilor Downs man Julio Ascui with his loved ones after his successful rescue in Halls Gap on January 3.

The 50-year-old was reported missing after failing to contact family members since his last Facebook post on 29 December 2017.

“Police would like to thank everyone involved in the search for Julio, including the large group of emergency services teams and volunteers, whose efforts resulted in this amazing outcome.”

“What a result!”

Mr Ascui was taken to Stawell Hospital with cuts, bruises and dehydration after being rescued near Bundaleer just behind the Wall of China.

He drank from a creek and slept beneath a rocky outcrop to survive.

Experts have recommended against copying Mr Ascui’s survival strategy of eating eucalyptus leaves.