Missing elderly man - East of Balladonia/Rawlinna

Submitted: Friday, Apr 15, 2016 at 23:25
ThreadID: 132139 Views:2310 Replies:3 FollowUps:9
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Just a heads up for anyone in the Balladonia/Western Nullarbor/Rawlina area.

The W.A. Police have put out an alert for an 80 yr old Esperance gentleman, who was travelling in his Landcruiser from Esperance to Rawlinna earlier this week.

He has been reported missing - obviously because he never turned up at his destination - and he was last seen at around 7:30AM on the morning of Tuesday 12th April 2016, at Afghan Rock - around 5km East of Balladonia.

He's quite tall, around 186cm, has short-cropped grey hair, and of medium build.

He's driving a gold-coloured 2007 model Landcruiser with the personalised W.A. registration plates, 1WISHBONE.

WAPOL - Facebook

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 08:19

Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 08:19
Hi Ron

Thanks for that and fingers crossed, they locate him safely.

I still keep pushing the same old song, but only if he had a PLB.

Only this week here in South Australia, a PLB saved the lives of 5 men after their fishing boat swamped and sank in rough water off of Kangaroo Island.

Being GPS enabled, they were to send help to the exact location, and they were picked up up the Sealink a Ferry after being in the water for around an hour.

I still think they should be mandatory and any four wheel drive thst does bush.




Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 09:40

Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 09:40
I agree with Stephen a PLB should be mandatory.
Then again this bloke may have a PLB but is unable to set it off. If he has a PLB registered in his name then I guess his prospects are not bright, lets hope otherwise.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 10:37

Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 10:37
Fellas, I agree with your PLB advice - but I think the problem here is, that travelling alone when you're 80 is not advisable, either.
Despite the fact he looks fairly fit, health problems can strike even a fit person down suddenly when we get to "a serious age".

Now, I know a lot of us on here fall into the category of "a serious age" - but one has to keep in mind, we all fall victim to health decline as we age - and a stroke - even a transient one - can immobilise you rapidly. In which case, even a PLB might not be any use, if you can't reach it and operate it.

My wifes Auntie (a fit 84 yr old) suffered a transient stroke about 12 yrs ago, when she was driving back from church with a friend on a Sunday morning.
Strangely enough, it didn't affect her driving ability - she just suddenly got lost, and couldn't figure out her way home - despite being in her familiar suburb, where she'd lived for close on 60 yrs.

Luckily, her friend helped her to find her way home - but the friend rang my missus and told her what happened, with a great deal of concern expressed.
We took Auntie to the Doc and he confirmed she'd had a transient stroke that had temporarily affected her memory.

She promptly gave up driving, fully aware that her functions were declining. It threw quite a bit of additional burden onto us, but it enabled us to monitor her a lot more closely.
From that event, she started to decline quite rapidly (we suspect she had more transient strokes), and the day immediately after we'd organised for her to move into a nursing home, she had a heart attack and died.

I'm a little concerned this old fella might've had a transient stroke or heart attack along the Rawlinna track, and is struggling to remember where he is or what he was doing.
Hopefully, someone will find him in recoverable shape soon - but personally, I fear the worst.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 10:51

Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 10:51
Ron, I understand what you are saying but I, and I suspect many others, are not about to give up on life and will continue to do what we think we can. We all have to go sometime and I have no intention of staying at home and wait for it, if there is any chance I can do another trip, no matter how remote. I wish to be the judge of what I am capable of doing. I carry a SPOT tracker so at least my family always know where I am. Rather than suggest that at 80 one should not go remote, maybe one could suggest that they carry a tracker (and PLB, or even better a satphone too) so at least it is known where you are.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 11:47

Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 11:47
Chris, I'm not saying, that at 80, you should stop travelling to remote areas if you're still capable - I'm just saying that doing it alone is risky.

I feel the same as you, I'm not looking forward to the day when the Doc says, "I'm going have to have to recommend your driving licence be suspended" - and hopefully, I'll have realised my extended driving days are over, before a Doc tells me first.

Fortunately, most people realise their driving limitations as they age, and limit their driving accordingly.

It's a bit of a concern though, when you see numbers of people driving when they shouldn't be.

We watched an old couple leave a local pub after a feed one Sunday lunchtime a few weeks back.
The bloke would have been close to 90 I reckon, and his wife not far behind. The old bloke was really struggling with walking, looked like he was pretty slow on the reflexes, and we watched as his wife assisted him to the carpark and their car.

I cracked a joke to the missus - "just watch, he's going to be the driver!" - and my jaw dropped as the wife assisted him into the drivers seat, she climbed into the passenger seat herself - and off he went!!

I trust he only drove a few hundred metres to home - because the pub's located on a very busy highway, where the traffic is fast and furious, and I couldn't imagine how the old fella would cope with it!

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Apr 17, 2016 at 15:09

Sunday, Apr 17, 2016 at 15:09
-
We "old fellas' cope very well with driving thank you Ron.
It is the rest of the road users who seem to have a problem with our driving! LOL
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Apr 17, 2016 at 19:27

Sunday, Apr 17, 2016 at 19:27
Allan - Yeah, I know! It's those crazy speeding young fools that race around like mad things, that cause trouble, don't they? LOL

I can remember seeing a great rear window decal years ago - highly suitable for us old fogies!

It read (in big red letters) - "SPEED ON, MAD FOOL!!! - HELL AIN'T FULL YET!!

LOL

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Member - shane r1 - Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 11:01

Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 11:01
Hi
Talking about PLB's . The thing to carry is possibly the spot device . It can be turned on so you can be tracked , and send ok messages etc. hope everyone is becoming aware of the spots capabilities

Hope the fellow is ok tho
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Follow Up By: wizzer73 - Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 20:31

Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 20:31
Yep, a spot tracker would have been perfect in this situation.

Wizzer
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Apr 17, 2016 at 22:23

Sunday, Apr 17, 2016 at 22:23
Hi Guys

Yes Spot would have been good....but you have to pay the fees to keep it active, where as with a PLB, no yearly fees and free to use.

Seeing the man was in trouble and it could have been a life threatening situation, thePLB would have also saved a lot of issues.



Cheers


Stephen
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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Apr 17, 2016 at 19:22

Sunday, Apr 17, 2016 at 19:22
Well, the news is all good!

The old fella has been found, safe and well! - he just pulled into a handy station North of Eucla, to do a few repairs to the 'Cruiser (and probably have a yarn with mates, too!) - and he obviously failed to tell anyone - and probably didn't realise so many people were looking for him, either!

He's fit and well, and back on track to the Rawlinna muster!

Good for him!

From the WAPOL Facebook page ...

"FOUND - Richard John WILSON
Police located 80 year old Richard John WILSON safe and well.
Thank you to all who assisted to distribute this message out to all concerned.
Mr WILSON was located yesterday afternoon, Saturday 16 April 2016.
He was located at a Station about 140kms north of Eucla.
After some vehicle repairs he is believed have set off yesterday on his way to the Rawlinna Muster.
Thanks again."

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Apr 17, 2016 at 22:28

Sunday, Apr 17, 2016 at 22:28
Hi Ron

Thanks for the update.


Cheers


Stephen
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