Karijini death !

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 10:14
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G'day Explorers

Sadly it's happened again and no doubt Karijini National Park will be under the microscope again for safety reasons because some one has died in the park.

The bloke in question was with a small group in the Hancock Gorge and decided to get a better view from a ledge about 7 metres above, he clambered up to the ledge which collapsed under his weight, he is now in the morgue.

A woman was severely injured as the result of a serious fall in the Hamersley Gorge, it took 9 hours for emergency services to recover her yesterday.

I am often in this national park and I see some totally dumb things being done by tourists and every time something goes wrong, Karijini and the region get flogged in the media, citing that more consideration and infrastructure should be in place for visitor safety. Karijini is a very beautiful part of the Pilbara it is dangerous it is remote and to a large degree these attributes are exactly why people come here but they need to think before they act.

Safe travels : Joe
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Reply By: pop2jocem - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 12:24

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 12:24
During our last lap of the block we detoured off the main drag to check out a gorge.
Not particularly hilly country, but the creek that flowed between what hills there were had found a soft layer to wear away over the millennia.
There was a sign at the car park where a well worn but unmarked trail started and worked it's way around this quite deep gorge. The wife and I just followed the existing well trodden track. When we got about 1/3 of the way around we looked back for the obligatory photo opportunity. Another elderly couple were working their way along where we had been but had decided to wander closer to the edge for a better look.

If only they could see what we could see.

The protruding ledge they were standing on was maybe 1 meter thick at best. Beneath that was about 70 meters of thin air and below that a rather ominous collection of rocks that had crumbled over the years.

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Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 12:39

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 12:39
Pop, I don't know about you but if I were part of an elderly couple a quick drop of 70 meters would appeal more than months or years in a nursing home waiting for a merciful dose of flu or pneumonia (against which they will likely be immunising me).
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 16:21

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 16:21
G'day Bob,

Sounds ok as long as the "quick drop" is accompanied by an equally "quick death".

I'm not particularly looking forward to a lingering death either but I also ain't too thrilled about an accidental ending just now.

My personal preference would be to get shot dead by the jealous husband of a 22 year old gorgeous nymphomaniac when I'm 93 because he caught us in a "compromising" situation.


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Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 17:45

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 17:45
+1 on preferred mode of death
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Follow Up By: Member - tommo05 - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 18:57

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 18:57
make that +2

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Follow Up By: OutBack Wanderers - Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 12:32

Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 12:32
Not much chance here, it's like flogging a dead horse, my wife's already bought my tombstone, Here lies my husband, stiff at last.

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Reply By: Mick O - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 14:00

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 14:00
That's sad news Joe. You know compared to my first visit to the area in the 1980's, the amount of infrastructure and restrictions applied to people exploring the park has increased incredibly. From more recent recollections, the current day park is extremely well regulated. All the gorge walks are graded and sign posted. It is abundantly clear in several languages just where you can and cannot go, the levels of experience you need and/or no go zones without an experience guide.

Surely it comes back to a matter of personal responsibility. You break the rules, you take the risk and you may very well pay a huge price like this chap has.

Safe travels


''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 15:45

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 15:45
Yes I agree. From our experience hiking through Utah and Nevada in the states we were amazed at the lack of safety regulations. No fences around clearly dangerous drop offs, lots of info signboards and excellent brochures, ranger stations and always, always nature education opportunities and guided walks/talks but very few warnings and certainly nothing of interest or value was locked away from touch "for preservation". In fact we were so astounded at this about flip on the issue that we spoke at length to some rangers in Zion National Park - who turned out to be Aussies from Tasmania who had made their way to jump ship to work and live in the US for the wonderful National Park work available. The US attitude to natural sites is to let the people have the opportunity to see, touch and explore it now. I have no idea how they deal with erosion and damage but I didn't even see any damage or even graffiti. So on this issue I reckon they have it right. Now if only they could it right with the gun laws....
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 16:40

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 16:40
G'day Mick and Michelle

I can't agree with you both strongly enough, personal choices go a long way to preserving life and limb, also attitude towards what does and does not belong to you as an individual.

I get some what flustered at the amount of control government and it's agencies force on us, but it's when people disregard signage, fencing or any kind of physical barrier that is put in place for your safety, makes me think some people deserve a lousy outcome.

Not too long back at the viewing platform over looking Hancock Gorge a young bloke and his girlfriend casually walked around the hand rail/barrier just to get a better photo of themselves at the edge of the ofgorge, they ignored the Celtic Cross Memorial to Jim Regan who died in tragic circumstances after the rescue of a tourist who chose to bend the rules.

I pointed at the memorial cross and was told by the girl to mind my own business and that they know the risks.

This incident yesterday was an entirely different situation, but peer group pressure was a factor, the bloke was a 19 year old German.

Safe travels : Joe
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 20:52

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 20:52
Certainly tragic and sad and unnecessary. I omitted to comment my sadness at the story but I had already been aware of the news last night when I initially posted it was in reference to Mick O's comment and I do feel sorry for his family and friends. RIP young boy.
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Reply By: Albany Nomads - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 21:12

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 21:12
We have the same problems here on the Sth Coast at Albany
We have signs, warnings, dangerous coastline etc etc, anchor hooks in rocks for fishing, free life vest hire ?
Yet we still get tragic needless deaths because folks ignore the warnings, thinking they are bullet proof.
What can you do...short of closing an area because some folks lack common sense and taking resposibility for personal safety.
Sad to hear as Ive been to Karajini and ranks high as one of my favorites.
Loved that walk through Dale gorge and others and checking out the water falls and pools
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Reply By: Slow one - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 06:41

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 06:41
To fix the problem I reckon they should install more of that horrible orange mesh safety barrier.
I think they grow it as it seems to appear all over the country in various states of health, from just born through to its 10 year and onto not being able to stand anymore, so it just lies on the ground warning the 4 legged ones of their territory boundaries.
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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 09:14

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 09:14
The more signs and safety barriers put up in in national parks the more deaths will occur , the simple fact is that people see a safety sign / barrier and curiosity gets the better of them while common sense / natural fear instinct flies away...
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Reply By: The Landy - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 13:13

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 13:13
I often wonder whether the more we alert people to danger the less inclined they are to think for themselves.

Are we conditioning people to a mindset that if there is no sign or warning then it must be okay, otherwise the “authorities” would have told us it was dangerous?

Mind you, I think this is a symptom of living in a litigious society…

Not matter how it occurred, a tragedy none-the-less.

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 14:40

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 14:40
Baz, there is an element of truth in what you say. The proliferation of yellow warning signs along the roadsides is a case in point.
My approach was to sign situations that were "out of the ordinary", for example, a particularly sharp bend that was both hard to anticipate and out of keeping for the terrain. Now days there is a turn sign for practically every bend.
So in The Netherlands not that long ago the authorities did an experiment in which they took down most of the yellow warning signs in an area of one of their major cities. The result? A 75% reduction in accidents! They concluded that the absence of warning signs meant drivers had to pay more attention and make decisions appropriate to the situation.
Having said that, our propensity to always look for someone else to blame rather than our own poor judgement, has led to action in the courts and decisions being made where the costs were awarded against those with the greatest capacity to pay. For example, the tens of thousands of signs warning that "conditions on unsealed roads can change without warning" and "caution, rail crossing on side road" when the railway line is clearly in view running parallel to the road some 20 m away!
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Follow Up By: Member - mike g2 - Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 11:48

Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 11:48
Hi all, I can see from reading this and comments where this is heading..warnings, fences, litigation, restrictions, closure? . good old Aus has thousands of miles of coast, let alone remote deserts and a fair few wild areas with lots of risks and dangers. as soon as you get to a "controlled " area such as a NP or local govt site we lemmings suddenly need a plethora of things to try and stop us from death and dismemberment and keep lawyers happy!
sign saying danger near 700 ft cliff on nullabor is a bit bleeding obvious.
agree with Albany coast example- even after all the well reported incidents over many years and locally instigated precautions 'swept off rocks' is still in the news.
perhaps a few extracts of the Darwin awards should be part of tourist handbook and Aussie curriculum?.

Not that I don't have sympathy for someone's death or injury, but the nature of some humans is to ignore or somehow not recognise natural danger, maybe even deliberately risk it apparently for the excitement and adventure aspect.
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Follow Up By: Member - Munji - Monday, Jun 29, 2015 at 07:36

Monday, Jun 29, 2015 at 07:36
As sad as it is we have to also be mindful that many of our tourists are born and bred in a city where they have only seen people and traffic lights.
When the get here they are very excited and do not have the understanding of perceived risk.
I refused to allow my son to go to Kari jinx when he was at Hale. Having g grown up in the Pilbara and frequented Karijini often I could not trust his leaders with that responsibility.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, Jun 29, 2015 at 08:33

Monday, Jun 29, 2015 at 08:33
Hey Munji

I’m hearing what you are saying, but I suspect the problem is we have desensitised people into thinking no warning – no danger.

Mind you, you don’t see too many city-ites standing at the edge of a skyscraper peering over (it’s dangerous!) and possibly much higher than some of the cliffs, so I suspect they shouldn’t need to be warned about standing to close to the edge of a cliff in the Pilbara, but seemingly they do!

Go figure…!

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: Pete Jackman (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2015 at 14:51

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2015 at 14:51
I think we should remove all warning signs and let nature sort it out...
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Follow Up By: TomH - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2015 at 15:43

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2015 at 15:43
Yep was amazed in the USA to see the lack of railings etc on the edge of very high drops.

Saw a kid planking on a wall at the Grand Canyon with 4000ft of nothing behind the wall. Later a mother letting her 3 or 4yr old walk along the same wall.
At Bryce Canyon which is all soft sandstone a guy who was lucky stood on an outcrop of sandstone and did the Titanic wave. No fences at all and would have had a long time to think about it if the stuff had slid away like it does.

Was probably 1000ft down from where he was. Asked a Ranger about fatalities and he said yes always a few who push it too far.

Didnt seem concerned about it though
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