'Test drive' led to an outback death

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 10:07
ThreadID: 19664 Views:3495 Replies:9 FollowUps:11
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IT was supposed to be the perfect road trip – a drive in South Australia's Outback in a brand new car.

With his Nissan four-wheel-drive XTrail and love of adventure, Martin Pudney set out on his summer holiday "over the moon" about his new wheels.

Last Friday, however, the searing conditions of the Outback claimed his life.

The 30-year-old Flinders Park man left his bogged car on a steep track northeast of Arkaroola, walking 7km before collapsing and dying of dehydration and heat stress.

Friends and work colleagues said Mr Pudney was testing his new Nissan XTrail during leave from work as an estimator at Rivergum Homes.

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Reply By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 10:29

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 10:29
Very Sad.

I suppose it raises questions and suggestions of what to do in that situation.

Take plenty of water.

Make sure the fuel tank is full before you go.

Stay with the car.

If you have fuel you can idle the motor for hours to run the A/C and get some relief from the heat.

Build a fire to signal.

Take flares.

Set fire to the spare to send out a smoke signal.

There must be penty of others. I'm just guessing.

AnswerID: 94378

Follow Up By: Gone 4by'ing - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 10:36

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 10:36
Great advice.
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Follow Up By: Member - Ivan (ACT) - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 11:07

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 11:07
Agree with all the above, but the BIG one, (except for those who are both prepared and experienced) - Don't travel alone!!

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Reply By: Member - Banjo (SA) - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 10:55

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 10:55
Yep - a damned shocker - awareness and education is the key of course, but this can't be forced on people - they have to pick it up at their discretion. Those that are not "in the picture" will suffer .... but that's anormalaspect of life ... happens in all walks of life, all the time.
AnswerID: 94381

Follow Up By: turbopete - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 11:28

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 11:28
trying to climb big hills in an x/trail without a low range is diffucult
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Reply By: Member - 'Lucy' - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 12:19

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 12:19
Just read the news article in full.

(1) No water

(2) No UHF Radio

(3) No nothing

= No brains.

Just unbelievable in this day and age.

Reminds me of an incident 4 yrs ago at the Copper Smelter at the back of Arkarola Village.

We ran into a couple of German Tourists (M/F) who had hired one of those Britts type Troopy campers.

Stated it was their intention to head north to Cooper Pedy and then across the Simpson to Brisbane.

Only problem being their booked departure flight was in five days time and they were concerned that they may be cutting it a bit fine time wise..

Also, No radio, no recovery gear, No extra jerries of fuel and/or water not even a shovel of any kind. Just them, their personal gear, some food and what ever water they were carrying.

We suggested that maybe 5 days including their book in procedures at Brisbane airport maybe not enough as it was realistic tt allow 3/4 days for the Simpson itself.

No problems Mrs German Tourist says and whips out a tourist type brochure map thingy and gives us a lecture on distances , road conditions , time and motion.

We just said have a nice day and do your best.

What more can you say
AnswerID: 94388

Follow Up By: Member - Tim D (VIC) - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 13:26

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 13:26
Well could not agree more with the advice above. I am going water skiing tomorrow it only 20 kms of dirt road go nick in the dry but not sure since we have had rain. So to over come this we are taking his and hers 4x4 as the wife is now warming to having her very own 4x4. Also having 2 means we don't have to rely on someone else to come with us. But for this sort trip we are taking 60litres of water full recovery kit uhf radio flares plenty of food because you just don't know what might happen.

On another note are the car manufacturers got something to answer for buy advertising these type of vehicle as go anywhere do anything just look at the ford territory ad and the holden adventure ads.
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Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 17:36

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 17:36
The manufacturers are right, they will get you anywhere you want to go........they just may not get you back safely.
FollowupID: 353387

Follow Up By: firestang - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 20:44

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 20:44
Perhaps they should provide an information booklet on what to take with you . Even if its the bare essentials its better than nothing . May even save a life one day.
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 15:05

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 15:05
I mentioned it before when this story was first brought up but there are things that arnt quite right with the story. Firstly he was driving from Arkaroola village to wilpena which would be a fairly well travelled route. Even if he was off the main track I cant imagine it would have been to far to walk to get some kind of help in a majour tourist destination area of the flinders. Secondly to collapse and die after only 7km suggests there was something else wrong as most people dont just keel over and die after 2-3 hours walking even in the middle of summer.
I can be corrected on any of my points as I have only heard fairly breif details
AnswerID: 94405

Follow Up By: Member - Banjo (SA) - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 10:13

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 10:13
From what I saw last visit Dave, the distances are usually too big for walking in very hot weather up there - this is way up the top end of the Flinders - can be a lot of space in between the few settlements in that region. Without useful water quantities, he was goning to struggle whatever he did.
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Reply By: Member - David 0- Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 16:01

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 16:01
What a shame.
Those tracks are quite well used too, by comparison to some.
With sufficient water for a few days, he would have been fine, wouldn't have even needed food.

What a waste

David O
AnswerID: 94413

Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 19:59

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 19:59
I hope I don't come across as too heartless but over 200,000 people die on Boxing Day, and one guy dies doing what he wants to do in Australia - I can't get too teary over this one.
AnswerID: 94443

Follow Up By: Gone 4by'ing - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 18:24

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 18:24
Every life is precious Bob.

And I hardly think the thing panned out the way he wanted it too.
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Reply By: Willem - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 20:26

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 20:26
I have a feeling the bloke tried to drive the Echo Camp Backtrack which is pretty steep in places. Not the sort of track for a soft roader. Our Xtrail does not wander off into the sticks. For that we have two proven trucks.

Have said this before....maybe each 4x4 sold in this country should have a broshure with it explaining the do's and dont's of the vehicle sold....but then again you cant save people from themselves
AnswerID: 94449

Reply By: Vinnie - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 16:43

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 16:43
Yes it will happen again in this country you can put money on it, there has been enough literature and news stories obout deaths in remote areas that all who live here should be aware of it.

Agree, Willem - Amazing how many people buy a 4 wheel drive and think it can go just anywhere, a limitations brochure should be sold with the car and a few suggestions about joining a registered 4x club

My Zacs worth
AnswerID: 94545

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 17:52

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 17:52
Dead right Vinnie, story around Robe this year was a couple who were hopelessly bogged in the sand and had to be rescued, they couldnt understand the questions about tyre pressures, etc, "We had a Landcruiser... they go everywhere".

Brochures a good idea, but will it get read?
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Follow Up By: Gone 4by'ing - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 18:16

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 18:16
Yes but the guy was not in a "4wd" Vinnie.
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