Paying for a Rookie Error

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015 at 12:48
ThreadID: 111154 Views:3864 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
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It doesn't matter how experienced you are, a simple lapse in concentration can bring you undone..... and a wrong decision could spell disaster .... This guy was lucky

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Reply By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015 at 14:04

Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015 at 14:04
I know exactly how he felt. A moments loss of concentration many years ago resulted in me getting myself well and truly bogged in Lake Disappointment on the CSR
4 hours of digging and jacking in the chocolate pudding that lurks below the 50 mm crust of salt and watching the spare wheel I used as a hi lift jack base slowly sinking into the ooze.

And that was with another vehicle trying to help without sinking that one too.

AnswerID: 546118

Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 19, 2015 at 10:45

Thursday, Feb 19, 2015 at 10:45
Pop, these weren't yours were they ? :-)

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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Thursday, Feb 19, 2015 at 13:14

Thursday, Feb 19, 2015 at 13:14

No mate, where I tried to cross there was a concrete hard track about a car and a half wide. Obviously other vehicles had done a pretty good job of "road making". The mate who was with me went across no worries.

Dumbo here decided fiddling around with a crook CB microphone connection and going too fast was the go.

Short version, not a good idea.

(Insert red faced highly embarrassed icon)

The mate's wife and mine had walked across and my Mrs had a video camera to film the whole sorry episode. As they were coming back to see what my latest catastrophe was she inadvertently left the camera with microphone running.
I never realised she knew so many expletives and had such a low opinion of my ancestral heritage. (;=))

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Reply By: Joe Fury - Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015 at 14:37

Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015 at 14:37
G'day Laurie K

Thanks for posting this story, I for one simply can't stress highly enough the importance of letting someone know where you might be going if you venture out and about.

This story has many parallels to a situation that unfolded here in the Pilbara a few years ago, luck was on the side of the blokes that had assumed they would be okay.

I'll try and set the scene : Plane lands at Newman airport, after all the procedures with luggage collection, two men in their early forties hire a four wheel drive then head into town and do some shopping at Woolies, seeing it's already late in the day and quite hot they decide to stay the night in town, in air conditioned comfort.

With all of their gear and supplies stowed away in the back of the ute, they strike out for the newly discovered Meteorite Crater in the south east folds of the Ophthalmia Ranges, their navigation was all point to point reckoning and a Shell road map.

The first 45 or so Kilometres of their journey was basic stuff on made roads and well defined tracks, then the rot set in when their GPS showed their target was due west and 90 degrees to where they were actually positioned on a major railway access road.

They made the decision to take the GPS heading for the Crater, just 14 Kilometres dead ahead. I am sure you and most of the forum members have seen and experienced old growth Mulga scrub, its tough stuff to negotiate on foot let alone in a vehicle.

Anyway, they battle through the Mulga country and eventually T bone a single blade width track at 90 degrees to their target, just 3480 metres ahead, with no genuine tracks or roads heading in the right direction (to the Crater) the blokes forge ahead through the Spinifex and crab hole country at the base of the Ophthalmia Range, you could only guess they could smell the Crater, they managed to pick up a set of wheel tracks through the grass and Spinifex in the higher hills of the range and unknown to them they had holed the engine sump of the vehicle.

The vehicle came to a halt in a deep gully in among the granite boulders that formed a creek/waterflow area and all this is going on October when day time temperatures in the region rapidly climb to the mid thirties and upwards into the forties, hot in the sun stuff, red bloody hot if things are going pear shaped.

The holed engine sump had spewed enough oil for the idiot light to come on and for the engine to start making loud sounds of protest, but by their admission they only knew of the oil loss when they saw oil on the rocks as the passenger was guiding the driver through a tight spot in the rocky area.

They came to a stop on a severe angle in the middle of a granite boulder dome area, a disabled vehicle, no real communications apart from two mobile phones neither of which could receive a signal, on a red hot October day at around 13:30 hrs.

Then along comes the local tour operator, on what was to be my last trip out to the Crater for the season, as the northern wet season if it hits, makes access to the area near impossible, the stranded blokes were already there for three hours, baking in the sun on a typically cloudless day ~ not very pleasant, for them.

I saw the oil on the offending rock that had punched the hole in the sump, I commented to my wife and passengers at the time, saying something like "someone's in deep sh1t out here", well sure enough right at the end of the oily trail were the very sun burned Crater hunters a mere 345 metres from ground zero.

Anyway the story ended well for not only my guests but also the two blokes, my guests got to see the Crater in the last light of day and experienced a real life situation, the two blokes, experienced a real life situation but never got to see the Crater in the last light of that day.

I left enough repair gear and instructions with them to effectively fix the holed sump, they had to camp the night "on the rocks" enjoy the Pilbara mozzies and bake another six long hours on the following day until I returned with engine oil and cold water, they got to see the Crater that day and luckily for them it was a nice 43 degree day with a bit of cloud cover.

Oh, and no one knew they were heading out to the Crater, had they have made the trek without incident they would have been the 11th and 12th human beings to set eyes on the Hickman Crater at the time.

On a sad note, the Western Australian out back has already claimed three lives this year, all three men perished (died of thirst) simply because they made a "rookie error"

Safe travels : Joe Fury
AnswerID: 546119

Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015 at 15:05

Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015 at 15:05

...... "tried to winch it from a nearby tree with the car running in reverse gear".

I could see a second disaster occurring at this point!!

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Reply By: equinox - Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015 at 19:59

Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015 at 19:59
Hi Laurie

I had my own drama less than a year ago.
Believe me to get bogged was the last thing I wanted.
This was just south of Boondi, not far from the Great Eastern Highway.

I could get data reception from top of a nearby hill, and I took the quad out to the highway - I couldn't make myself ask for help from any passing motorist's as it would have totally ruined any rescuers day as they would have had to go the long way round which was about 50 kms.

So I dug and I dug and I dug and 24 hours later I freed myself.


Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.

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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Vic - Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015 at 21:37

Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015 at 21:37
Put a bigger winch on the quad
What other people think of me is none of my business.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Thursday, Feb 19, 2015 at 13:21

Thursday, Feb 19, 2015 at 13:21

Those pictures do bring back some memories of my little effort.

Most of which I would rather not remember.

Winches are bloody handy bits of kit. Especially when you have something more solid than a bowl of chocolate pudding to bury your spare wheel into.

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Reply By: Member - ross s - Thursday, Feb 19, 2015 at 22:28

Thursday, Feb 19, 2015 at 22:28
Time for the Maxtrax.
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