Who found Tim Holding?

Was it the Nine Network, which was boasting about it (again) on the Today show’s news this morning? Was it Channel Seven? Was it emergency services?

The saga surrounding the search for the Victorian Water and Tourism Minister has thrown up a host of saviours.

The Nine Network’s Brett McLeod proclaimed Nine’s helicopter as the first to spot the stranded Minister.

With a “First On 9” watermark proudly displayed at the top of the screen, and Holding waving unenthusiastically from his perch in the foreground, McLeod stated, “This was the moment Tim Holding knew rescue was quite literally in the air.”

An interview with Nine chopper pilot Ross Barker seems to confirm that Nine was first on the scene and was responsible for ushering in a police helicopter to pluck Holding to safety. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a reporter in Nine’s chopper and the Nine newsroom appeared unsure of who was actually missing, referring to “Tim Holden”:

Channel Seven reporter Norm Beaman was also up in Seven’s chopper and was quick to take advantage of Nine’s predicament, phoning 3AW’s Neil Mitchell on air to tell listeners, “Hopefully, at this stage, we have found Tim Holding and he is alive.”

Channel Seven reporter Nick McCallum later reiterated that it was Beaman and his crew in a Channel Seven helicopter who spotted Holding.

Meanwhile, the Victorian Government was adamant in its refusal to address reports that an Australian Federal Police aircraft was responsible for finding the Minister.

After a Government spokesman directed inquiries regarding the aircraft to emergency agencies, Victoria Police retracted all earlier references from a media brief to “an AFP plane”.

Who found Tim Holding? The search continues.

Peter Fray

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