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-   -   Never, ever leave your vehicle in outback Australia (https://britishexpats.com/forum/rec-travel-australia-nz-42/never-ever-leave-your-vehicle-outback-australia-362480/)

Roger Mar 20th 2006 7:10 pm

Never, ever leave your vehicle in outback Australia
 
Sad to report another person has died after leaving her
broken down vehicle in a fairly remote area of WA.

Her two companions who stayed with the vehicle were
rescued on Sunday, she was found about 4kms from the
vehicle.

The one and only rule for breakdowns in the Outback -
never leave your vehicle.

Frank Slootweg Mar 20th 2006 7:35 pm

Re: Never, ever leave your vehicle in outback Australia
 
Roger <[email protected]> wrote:
[deleted]
    > The one and only rule for breakdowns in the Outback -
    > never leave your vehicle.

Very true. But one should also realize that doing nothing, often is a
*very* hard thing to do. People have the tendency to try to keep
in control of their own fate. Doing nothing, even if it *logically* is
the only good/sane thing to do, does not feel like control at all.

I have some, luckily very limited, experience in this area, and
believe me, it ain't easy if your intellect says one thing, but your gut
says quite something else.

I just wanted to address this side of the issue, because some of these
reports [1] have a tendency to implicitly blame the victim.

[1] This of course does *not* refer to your posting.

Ross Mar 20th 2006 8:33 pm

Re: Never, ever leave your vehicle in outback Australia
 
What you say doesn't make sense to me, Frank.

A vehicle is a lot easier to spot and track than a person or persons.

My intellect tells me "stay". My "gut feeling" says "stay".

Yes. I spent some years in "the bush" in central western highlands of
Queensland. A lot of the country around there is called "desert" because by
definition a desert is somewhere that does not have water to sustain human
life.

Ross

"Frank Slootweg" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
    > Roger <[email protected]> wrote:
    > [deleted]
    >> The one and only rule for breakdowns in the Outback -
    >> never leave your vehicle.
    > Very true. But one should also realize that doing nothing, often is a
    > *very* hard thing to do. People have the tendency to try to keep
    > in control of their own fate. Doing nothing, even if it *logically* is
    > the only good/sane thing to do, does not feel like control at all.
    > I have some, luckily very limited, experience in this area, and
    > believe me, it ain't easy if your intellect says one thing, but your gut
    > says quite something else.
    > I just wanted to address this side of the issue, because some of these
    > reports [1] have a tendency to implicitly blame the victim.
    > [1] This of course does *not* refer to your posting.

Stevesub Mar 21st 2006 1:25 am

Re: Never, ever leave your vehicle in outback Australia
 
Get an EPIRB if you are going into the outback, then you know that you
have done something and are not tempted to leave the vehicle. We also
make sure that after we have been in the outback, we have 20 to 30l of
water left whenw e get back to civilisation - that is for if we have a
problem say 20km from civilisation, you can still die that close if
tyou do not have enough water.

We never go into the outback in anything other than our Landcruiser.
Cars are too easy to get stuck and our Landrover is not reliable
enough, even though it is on ly 5 years old.

Other things we take - heaps of fuel, spares, 2 tyres, 2 jacks, flares
from our boat, V sheet from our boat, tools, CB Radio and will be
getting a satellite phone soon.

Stevesub

Roger Mar 21st 2006 2:28 pm

Re: Never, ever leave your vehicle in outback Australia
 
"Frank Slootweg" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
    > Roger <[email protected]> wrote:
    > [deleted]
    > > The one and only rule for breakdowns in the Outback -
    > > never leave your vehicle.
    > Very true. But one should also realize that doing nothing, often is a
    > *very* hard thing to do. People have the tendency to try to keep
    > in control of their own fate. Doing nothing, even if it *logically* is
    > the only good/sane thing to do, does not feel like control at all.

Logic soon leaves people who are in a life or death situation.

Best "to do" - get the spare tyre off the vehicle and burn it.
Nasty thick black smoke usually attracts attention of some sort.

    > I have some, luckily very limited, experience in this area, and
    > believe me, it ain't easy if your intellect says one thing, but your gut
    > says quite something else.
    > I just wanted to address this side of the issue, because some of these
    > reports [1] have a tendency to implicitly blame the victim.

The only time I ever feel like blaming the victims, is when they've
taken children with them and not been even remotely prepared
for a few hours/days without water.

    > [1] This of course does *not* refer to your posting.

Gerrit 't Hart Mar 22nd 2006 1:21 am

Re: Never, ever leave your vehicle in outback Australia
 
"Roger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
    > Sad to report another person has died after leaving her
    > broken down vehicle in a fairly remote area of WA.
    > Her two companions who stayed with the vehicle were
    > rescued on Sunday, she was found about 4kms from the
    > vehicle.
    > The one and only rule for breakdowns in the Outback -
    > never leave your vehicle.

Yes it is sad. And your warning is correct!
However you have got the story slightly wrong. All occupants did actually
leave the vehicle, separately, in different directions.
Here is an extract of an article in yesterday's The West Australian:

Police have established the trio passed through Meekatharra about 2.30am on
Wednesday and became stuck after missing a turn-off to the Fortnum goldmine,
about 150km north of Meekatharra.
Mr Apse told police the trio left the car to find help after unsuccessful
attempts to free the vehicle at daybreak. After a short walk, Ms Fraser
returned to the car but Mr Neil and Mr Apse kept walking for several hours
before becoming lost.
After trying to raise the attention of rescuers by lighting fires, the men
managed to make their way back to the car late last week.
But Ms Fraser was gone, leaving a short note to say she went to find help.
The men freed the car from the bog but again became stuck on the
Milgun-Yarlarweer Road.
It is believed that by Saturday morning, Mr Neil again started walking to
find water and Mr Apse stayed with the car.
On Sunday, Mr Apse made his last desperate bid to save himself, leaving the
car and walking along Milgun-Yarlarweer Road.
Mr Neil, a father of two boys aged 16 and 11, was spotted north of the track
as Yarlarweer station managers went to rescue Mr Apse.
A bandaged and exhausted Mr Neil thanked his rescuers yesterday after being
released from Meeka-tharra District Hospital.
The trio had travelled to Meekatharra so Mr Neil, an air-conditioning
mechanic, could finish a job at the goldmine.
The trip was meant to take two days and family members reported them missing
on Friday.
Meekatharra Sgt Rose Scarvarchi said search efforts were hampered because
the trio had not given anyone a clear plan of their trip.
She said people should stay with their vehicle if they became stranded in
remote areas.
"I have no doubt that in these circumstances that if all three had stayed
with the vehicle, we might have had a better outcome," Sgt Scarvarchi said.

Gerrit

Tom Johnstone Mar 22nd 2006 2:47 pm

Re: Never, ever leave your vehicle in outback Australia
 
Gerrit 't Hart wrote:
    > "Roger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >> Sad to report another person has died after leaving her
    >> broken down vehicle in a fairly remote area of WA.
    >> Her two companions who stayed with the vehicle were
    >> rescued on Sunday, she was found about 4kms from the
    >> vehicle.
    >> The one and only rule for breakdowns in the Outback -
    >> never leave your vehicle.

It would do people well to save this story and to go over it before they
go into the outback themselves, taking the time to imagine how horrible
it must have been to be in their situation. The awful feeling that this
provokes might convince people to do the right things *before* they set
off. Making sure they have the right equipment, making sure that their
travel plans are made known to people who can and will reliably follow
up on them should they not turn up when expected, and above all else,
making sure that they have enough water to last them while they wait
with their car to be rescued. I imagine that it's very very difficult to
wait by the car when the water supply seems to be running out fast and
one is faced with yet another day of searing outback heat. Knowing that
the water supply is sufficient to last a number of days will make it
psychologically easier to stay put, as one should.

That part of the world is pretty brutal. In summer it's one of the
hottest parts of Australia. Many "roads" run north-south, and the many
drainage channels and creeks run east-west, meaning you have to cross
every bloody one of them. The crossings become boggy when wet, and are
often washed out even when dry, requiring negotiating steep and rocky
river banks. But because the region isn't as far from major towns as
further east or north, and because the Gt Northern Hwy runs right
through it, the temptation is to think of it as somewhat less remote and
severe. That would be a big mistake.

Tom



    > Yes it is sad. And your warning is correct!
    > However you have got the story slightly wrong. All occupants did actually
    > leave the vehicle, separately, in different directions.
    > Here is an extract of an article in yesterday's The West Australian:
    >
    > Police have established the trio passed through Meekatharra about 2.30am on
    > Wednesday and became stuck after missing a turn-off to the Fortnum goldmine,
    > about 150km north of Meekatharra.
    > Mr Apse told police the trio left the car to find help after unsuccessful
    > attempts to free the vehicle at daybreak. After a short walk, Ms Fraser
    > returned to the car but Mr Neil and Mr Apse kept walking for several hours
    > before becoming lost.
    > After trying to raise the attention of rescuers by lighting fires, the men
    > managed to make their way back to the car late last week.
    > But Ms Fraser was gone, leaving a short note to say she went to find help.
    > The men freed the car from the bog but again became stuck on the
    > Milgun-Yarlarweer Road.
    > It is believed that by Saturday morning, Mr Neil again started walking to
    > find water and Mr Apse stayed with the car.
    > On Sunday, Mr Apse made his last desperate bid to save himself, leaving the
    > car and walking along Milgun-Yarlarweer Road.
    > Mr Neil, a father of two boys aged 16 and 11, was spotted north of the track
    > as Yarlarweer station managers went to rescue Mr Apse.
    > A bandaged and exhausted Mr Neil thanked his rescuers yesterday after being
    > released from Meeka-tharra District Hospital.
    > The trio had travelled to Meekatharra so Mr Neil, an air-conditioning
    > mechanic, could finish a job at the goldmine.
    > The trip was meant to take two days and family members reported them missing
    > on Friday.
    > Meekatharra Sgt Rose Scarvarchi said search efforts were hampered because
    > the trio had not given anyone a clear plan of their trip.
    > She said people should stay with their vehicle if they became stranded in
    > remote areas.
    > "I have no doubt that in these circumstances that if all three had stayed
    > with the vehicle, we might have had a better outcome," Sgt Scarvarchi said.
    >
    > Gerrit
    >
    >

Frank Slootweg Mar 22nd 2006 4:00 pm

Re: Never, ever leave your vehicle in outback Australia
 
Gerrit 't Hart <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > "Roger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > Sad to report another person has died after leaving her
    > > broken down vehicle in a fairly remote area of WA.
    > >
    > > Her two companions who stayed with the vehicle were
    > > rescued on Sunday, she was found about 4kms from the
    > > vehicle.
    > >
    > > The one and only rule for breakdowns in the Outback -
    > > never leave your vehicle.
    >
    > Yes it is sad. And your warning is correct!
    > However you have got the story slightly wrong. All occupants did actually
    > leave the vehicle, separately, in different directions.
    > Here is an extract of an article in yesterday's The West Australian:

What stroke me as odd - and note that I'm *not* blaming the victim(s),
for reasons I have given earlier - is this:

[Quote:]
    > The trio had travelled to Meekatharra so Mr Neil, an air-conditioning
    > mechanic, could finish a job at the goldmine.
[Unquote.]

One would think that an air-conditioning mechanic doing a job at a
goldmine, would not be your city-type mechanic, but probably doing this
kind of thing more often. If so, a satellite safety beacon (EPIRB) would
have been a cheap and (IMO) minimum 'tool' for such a mechanic. I.e. I
fully understand that satphones are expensive and very expensive to use,
but an EPIRB costs what, a few hundred dollars? Or am I missing
something?

Stevesub Mar 22nd 2006 8:58 pm

Re: Never, ever leave your vehicle in outback Australia
 
EPIRB - $A200 to $A300 and available from any boat shop plus heaps of
other places. Also a spade ($A10) may have helped them get un-stuck

Stevesub

Tom Johnstone Mar 22nd 2006 9:17 pm

Re: Never, ever leave your vehicle in outback Australia
 
stevesub wrote:
    > EPIRB - $A200 to $A300 and available from any boat shop plus heaps of
    > other places. Also a spade ($A10) may have helped them get un-stuck
    >
    > Stevesub

Out of interest, what would it cost to rent one if on holidays in Oz?
Any idea?

Keith W Mar 22nd 2006 9:33 pm

Re: Never, ever leave your vehicle in outback Australia
 
"Roger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
    > "Frank Slootweg" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >> Roger <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> [deleted]
    >> > The one and only rule for breakdowns in the Outback -
    >> > never leave your vehicle.
    >> Very true. But one should also realize that doing nothing, often is a
    >> *very* hard thing to do. People have the tendency to try to keep
    >> in control of their own fate. Doing nothing, even if it *logically* is
    >> the only good/sane thing to do, does not feel like control at all.
    > Logic soon leaves people who are in a life or death situation.
    > Best "to do" - get the spare tyre off the vehicle and burn it.
    > Nasty thick black smoke usually attracts attention of some sort.

Tyres are pretty difficult to set fire to and setting fires in the
bush can be rather unhealthy. Its simpler and safer
to ensure people know where you are going and when
you are expected to return.

Keith

Gerrit 't Hart Mar 23rd 2006 12:46 am

Re: Never, ever leave your vehicle in outback Australia
 
"Frank Slootweg" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
    > What stroke me as odd - and note that I'm *not* blaming the victim(s),
    > for reasons I have given earlier - is this:
    > [Quote:]
    > > The trio had travelled to Meekatharra so Mr Neil, an air-conditioning
    > > mechanic, could finish a job at the goldmine.
    > [Unquote.]
    > One would think that an air-conditioning mechanic doing a job at a
    > goldmine, would not be your city-type mechanic, but probably doing this
    > kind of thing more often. If so, a satellite safety beacon (EPIRB) would
    > have been a cheap and (IMO) minimum 'tool' for such a mechanic. I.e. I
    > fully understand that satphones are expensive and very expensive to use,
    > but an EPIRB costs what, a few hundred dollars? Or am I missing
    > something?

On last night's TV news it was reported that the driver has been charged
with possession of drugs, which were found in the vehicle. May not have had
anything to do with it but.....

Gerrit

Stevesub Mar 23rd 2006 6:39 am

Re: Never, ever leave your vehicle in outback Australia
 
Do a search on the net - or just buy one. If you rent a 4WD, some
rental companies have them avaialble as an optional extra, along with
the spade, snatch strap, etc - well worth while getting the extras.

A spade is a very good, cheap recovery tool, takes time but works well.

I am reluctant to take a car far into the outback on the dirt tracks,
OK if the track is smooth and dry but if it gets rough or wet or sandy,
you either wreck the car or get stuck a lot easier than in a 4WD.

Water in the outback should be no problem, if you buy in it at the
supermarket before you leave civilisation 10litre bottles of water in
a tough plastic container - bought one today for $A3.60 (Home Brand
from Woolworths). Carry a 3 or 4 of these, cheap as and save your life.
Keep them for emergency only.

Stevesub

Www.Poms.Co.Uk Mar 23rd 2006 8:12 am

Re: Never, ever leave your vehicle in outback Australia
 
"Roger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
    > Sad to report another person has died after leaving her
    > broken down vehicle in a fairly remote area of WA.
    > Her two companions who stayed with the vehicle were
    > rescued on Sunday, she was found about 4kms from the
    > vehicle.
    > The one and only rule for breakdowns in the Outback -
    > never leave your vehicle.

Sat phones are prity cheap these days.

--



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Www.Poms.Co.Uk Mar 23rd 2006 8:15 am

Re: Never, ever leave your vehicle in outback Australia
 
"Tom Johnstone" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
    > stevesub wrote:
    >> EPIRB - $A200 to $A300 and available from any boat shop plus heaps of
    >> other places. Also a spade ($A10) may have helped them get un-stuck
    >> Stevesub
    > Out of interest, what would it cost to rent one if on holidays in Oz? Any
    > idea?

I have a EPIRB for sale if you want one.

--



www.experimentalist.co.uk/shop/index.php
Australian, New Zealand, USA, UK, South African, Thailand Sim Cards.
www.byronbay.co.uk - www.nimbin.co.uk


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