Simpson Motorcyclist rescue details

Submitted: Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 12:56
ThreadID: 104758 Views:3097 Replies:4 FollowUps:8
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Does any one know what happened that two motorbike riders had to be rescued by chopper two weeks ago when they ran out of fuel and water. The news had very little info apart from being 170km from Birdsville in the Simpson.
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Reply By: Ron N - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 13:22

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 13:22
Winner - The article below is about all the info anyone outside the actual motorbike group knows.
The two that were rescued got separated from the others (bad mistake, and poor trip planning and group instructions) - they both broke down, ran low on fuel, food and water - and luckily they had a sat phone to call for help.
It wouldn't have taken too much more, such as a sat phone failure, and serious delay in finding them, for them to perish.
Carrying an AMSA distress beacon and formally registering their travel plans for the remote area they were travelling in, seems like a really good idea, in hindsight.
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Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 13:41

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 13:41
Lets hope the other five are okay.

When we went through the Simpson (west to east) last year we met two riders (east to west) struggling up a dune about half an hour ahead of their support vehicle. No radios or sat phone to call for help. !!!!!!!!!! Even the support ute did not have anything apart from a UHF phone. And the driver couldn't give a stuff. Basically slammed the window shut when I asked and shot off. I gather that he had already been asked that question and maybe told a thing or three.


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Follow Up By: Winner W - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 14:01

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 14:01
Thats the impression I got that these guys were not well prepared and organized. We tend to take too much stuff and back ups in our cars but would love to now how this trip was intended to be done . At least they had a sat phone of sorts.
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 16:53

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 16:53
It not only motorbike riders who don't think they need any comms, all you have to do is have a look here on this forum at some peoples views about carrying a epirb's/plb's, sat phone or HF radio...... and there are some who don't believe in UHF either.

The biggest problem with some who travel remote is they do not relise the risks involved and how remote it can be....... maybe they have the "someone else will come along and help me" syndrome.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce and Di T (SA) - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 21:32

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 21:32
OK. Last year's group of riders had very strict instructions. Our neighbour's son was one of the riders. They had to complete a certain distance each day and if they didn't then they stopped. Our neighbour followed his son and was full of praise for the organisation of the event. The only reason he was not riding this year was due to his change in employment.

We've met bike riders while travelling the Simpson. To us they seemed to know what they were doing and the dangers.

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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 07:16

Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 07:16
A word to Bruce and Ti.

Excellent planning. Curious though. Why the minimum distance. Thats a new one to me. Was it to keep the group togther maybe. Thats not a bad idea. Am I correct.

Also no one here is saying that all bikers who go on the Simpson are stupid. Of the four groups of bikes that we met only one was being irresponsible.

No one is saying that. As the poster of that article in the forum, quoted by Doc below, says "A timely reminder to be well prepared". And I would say we get the four wheeled variety also who are not properly prepared.

We are going for a bigger drive next year, 1800 Kms crossing, and planning and vehicle preparedness is already being addressed. As others do of both persuasions.


PS My nephew's house in the Blue Mountains was saved but the ones both sides gone!.

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Reply By: Doc - Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 23:15

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013 at 23:15
Some more info here:
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 07:39

Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 07:39
Interesting post, by user Shaun, from that forum Doc referred to:

The first rider had bike problems. With the amount of gear they had he could not be doubled or towed. They spent hrs trying to get it going, in the end it was decided to set off the spot tracker so he could be rescued. He had food & water for 2 days with him. He did not make his own way to Alice springs, he was rescued by the rangers. Then the other 3 set off for birdsville. They did not think real smart because they were only about 200 - 250 klm from Jervois station & should have gone back. There first real stuff up was only one of their coms system out of 7 was working when they left Rockhampton, & that person ( my brother ) made it to Birdsville after leaving the first person no problem at all. Lots of stuff ups, 2 sat phones but one didn't work because the bill wasn't paid & was turned off. no coms & all got split up. Friggin circus really.

-- End quote --

As Shaun the poster said "Friggin circus".

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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 14:26

Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 14:26
call me old fashioned HG, but isn't the general rule of traveling in a group is that the group stays together to support all ?
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 14:36

Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 14:36
In a word Yes.

My group doing the Canning next year are to remain within eyesight of each other. Dust or no dust. I can't wait for them to fight over who is leader!! ME!!!

Who is "HG"?

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Reply By: Winner W - Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 12:00

Friday, Oct 18, 2013 at 12:00
I have gone through the posts there and the one person's account of the incident has been retracted . I suspect we will see a book or an interview on a TV channel soon. It is always easy to be smart afterwards but we need to learn from others mistakes and I think these guys could have done a bit more to avoid the problems. One biker commented on another bikers attitude of expecting a tax funded rescue for mechanical breakdown that that sucks big time. For medical emergency yes . Hit that button to call for help.
Often it is a chain of things going wrong that causes tragedy and having a few important niggles not sorted out before crossing the Simpson may bite you severely. It goes for all of us.
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Follow Up By: SKEB - Saturday, Oct 19, 2013 at 17:08

Saturday, Oct 19, 2013 at 17:08
Just got back from two weeks outback, which included the Hay River trek described on Exploroz.
We passed these riders about 20 Km's after the shot line on the 9th, the original group of 7 had reduced to 6 after 1 was left at dingo bore/well that morning. We spoke to the lead rider who told us that the rider was ok and expected to be rescued that day, he guessed by helicopter. The remaining 6 were riding to Poepple corner and then the QAA line to Birdsville. He commented that he had done the Simpson QAA previously and was keen to push on.
The lead rider was 15 min in front of the 2nd, the 3rd & 4th riders were together and about 5 min further behind, riders 5 & 6 were together and a further 5 min behind. There was no dust problems were we saw them. The only other rider to stop was one of the last two, he asked for and we gave him water, he commented that they were all doing it hard and it was the worst track they had been on. If they had comm's they were not using or broken as we had no pick up on our scans.
We thought that they should have been riding in view of each other in case of accidents or in case a rider took a wrong turn at the many inter crossing tracks, not all the Hay River track was uptodate on the GPS.
When we arrived at dingo bore the following day the rider that was left behind was gone, from wheel tracks we determined he had been picked up by vehicle and trailer, we had not seen a helicopter.
As far as we could tell they had gps detailed maps and comm gear but were hoping to be in Birdsville by the 10th and seemed low on supplies (our impression only).
Whilst the Hay River track was remote and showed little signs of recent use, it was in our opinion not difficult on machine unless you were pushing to hard to go to far, we weren't but maybe they were because they underestimated the time needed. (Our view from a very quick interaction with them).
In two Simpson adventures, this is the second group of riders we have seen that have raised eyebrows, glad to find out they made it out ok, you can't plan for every emergency or situation, but the basics of fuel, food and water can be.
Cheers, Simon.

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