Something is definately very wrong...

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 08:25
ThreadID: 22048 Views:2569 Replies:12 FollowUps:2
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... as I sat and read the Advertiser yesterday, and re-read about the plight of the two unfortunate men & their dog, who perished in W A.

We have government & various authorities ensuring that we do, and don't, do the following things.....

Seat Belts
Drink Driving
Drugs & Driving
Smoking in the car whilst children are present
Bald Tyres
Noise Pollution
and the list goes on...............

So, why is it, that in the year 2005, we still read about these tragedies?

I am wondering, if, let's say.... these two were stopped at a point whereby the authorities check them out for say.... alcohol into tribal lands. Nope, no booze, you can move on now.......... no water, no fuel........... but you are free to move on.

I am led to believe that they were offered extra water, but declined......

I am NOT laying censure here, but it seems that something is wrong here.

Most of us know what we have to take inland, but lot's don't, and it's with tragic consequences, that we read about these events.

I am not advocating a regulatory body, far from it. What I do think is needed, is a more stringent education program.

We all are now aware of the dangers of sunscreen & hats, but let's all cast our minds back say 30 years ago..... who wore shirts? ... shirts were for sissies.... and to wear a hat in the 70's... you would have been drawn & quartered.

So, education does work, and I think that it should be implemented, to at least try and protect the sorry souls, and their families from these recurring events.

People take the plss outta me, for taking 40 litres water away, for a 2 day trip...........

I bet if I had come across those poor devils in time.......... 40 litres would have been a godsend.


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Reply By: Member - Banjo (SA) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 08:45

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 08:45
Yep re the 40 L of water - I'm with you Wolfie - I'd do the same for a 2 day trip.
Re educating people - you can't force it on anyone - you just lay it at their feet for them to pick up.... even put it in front of the faces, but if they don't want to read it - to soak up the advice, we have to leave them alone. One thing is for sure - its natural for people to die when the stuff up - its going on everywhere all the time ! - we can only offer to help them avoid it. There will be more too, I'm sure.
AnswerID: 106655

Reply By: Member - Landie - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 09:00

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 09:00

You make some good points. However, without commenting on this specific tragedy, it is difficult to teach or for that matter enforce common sense. Already there is plenty of literature available to those who want it with respect to remote area travel. This site alone is almost a one-stop shop for this type of information. A visit to the local bookshop will reveal many titles on the same topic.

For most of us in here, four wheel-driving and for many, remote area travel is something we do regularly and I suspect most, if not all, are always well equipped and have a contingency plan if something goes wrong.

The question is how do you get the information to the casual outback travel, including foreign tourists who simply are not as cognisant of the risks involved? After all it is usually a risk management exercise, know the risks, are they acceptable and what is your contingency/emergency plan.

One example is the problems associated with foreigners hiring four-wheel drives for travel on Fraser Island. The number of incidents highlights a problem of these travellers not getting or understanding the information they are being (should be) given.

Many people probably go bush ill-prepared, they manage to get away with it because nothing goes wrong. We will continue to read about these stories because things dogo wrong from time to time.

AnswerID: 106660

Reply By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 09:07

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 09:07
There is more than enough education available on the matter of going safely into the bush. If people choose not to seek it out or follow it that is their choice.

It is in the nature of a free society that people be permitted to do things which may injure themselves - I don't want _anyone_ trying to protect me from myself we already have far too much of that in Oz.

People make choices and must take the consequences - I actually feel pretty damn sorry for the dog in this case, I suspect it was not given a choice.

Mike Harding
AnswerID: 106663

Follow Up By: DukeAtty - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 10:45

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 10:45
Yep.. The dog had no choice... Dogs are often led by fools...
FollowupID: 363657

Reply By: Rod W - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 09:07

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 09:07
A radio news report this morning said that one of em was actually running from the law... wasn't worth it.
AnswerID: 106664

Reply By: Tim HJ61 (WA) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 10:47

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 10:47
Transcript of the 7.30 Report item on this from last night is at:


AnswerID: 106678

Reply By: Member - Wim (Qld) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 11:06

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 11:06

Agree with all you have said.
Unfortunately being human we make mistakes.
I guess it comes down to how well you review the risks.
Walk across the street without reviewing the risks.. left right left right... and you could get hit by a bus.
Bushwalking without the appropriate planning and you could die.
Those who do not see the danger are always at risk.

Safe travels.

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AnswerID: 106683

Reply By: Member - Banjo (SA) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 11:30

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 11:30
Don't know about WA but in SA, on the main routes, there are big red signs telling people in no uncertain terms what is at stake as they leave the township on a bush run. The signs are huge.
AnswerID: 106689

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 12:49

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 12:49
You know, I feel sorry for the dog.

Humans can think and act for themselves.
Animals such as dogs, rely on us humans.
The poor thing was probably so faithful and loving of its master, that it wouldn't leave him.

Unfortunately, one cannot always legislate against the lack of knowledge, or the presence of indifference, to protect one from themself.

Tragedy, sure is.

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AnswerID: 106707

Reply By: ianmc - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 13:47

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 13:47
Quote Wolfie" we are all aware of the dangers of sun screen & hats".

Sure am Wolfie, that ole hat can slip down over your eyes just when a fish grabs your line, or blow off in the wind & U might fall in the water trying to catch it & drown! Must go & get my hat & hop in the ole Valiant & off. Look out folks!

As for sunscreen it contains carcinogenic chemicals which should not be put on the skin. Dont put anything on the skin U cant safely eat is a good rule to follow as the skin is the biggest organ of our body.
Lack of sun has recently been linked to melanomas and of course bone porosity due to inability of body to create Vit D without it.
Worst radiation is around the middle of the day but the sunlight in the early a.m. & later p.m. is benificial, a quite different radiation it seems.
Soryy I got sidetracked but fingers out of control, but sorry to hear about those who perished, hope it doesnt mean more permits/regs.
AnswerID: 106718

Reply By: GUPatrol - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 16:17

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 16:17
You cannot regulate for stupidity and lack of common sense....
AnswerID: 106742

Reply By: Brew69(SA) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 20:22

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 20:22
I don't leave home without at least 40lt wolfie and at least two 30 packs of beer.
AnswerID: 106774

Reply By: V8Diesel - Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 20:44

Thursday, Apr 14, 2005 at 20:44
From another angle and making any particular point......

I have run into many (most) station owners/employees travelling on their own in the most dilapidated, run down old 70's and 80's Suzuki's and Toyota's with no spares, tools, survival gear etc. General kit seems to consist of a knife, whatever old spanners are rattling round on the floor in the dust or an old ammo tin, some water, a .243 and a dog. They've been travelling like this all their life. I don't know how they do it, but the fact is they do and with no fuss at all. I suppose if they didn't roll up in a week or so, someone would go looking for them in a known, (albeit huge) area. Seeing this may lull the casual observer into a false sense of security, unaware they simply do not have the knowledge and bushcraft skills these station folk use every day of their life.

In fact, apart from stations run by mining companies, I can't think of one station 4x4 (not the 'town car') I've ever seen I'd like to drive down the shops in, let alone travel cross country in a remote area.

Perhaps these blokes had spent some time on a station and thought they could do it too. Just an observation from travelling and working in the Goldfields, Murchison and Gascoyne regions of WA.

Whatever happened, the fact is "she wasn't right" and I too feel sorry for dog as well as those poor buggers who stuffed up out there. I can hardly think of anything worse.
AnswerID: 106781

Follow Up By: Lone Wolf - Friday, Apr 15, 2005 at 08:14

Friday, Apr 15, 2005 at 08:14
You have made a good point, and I agree.

I too, also come from a Northern S A Station, and we did exactly what you've outlined, except for one thing............ we did carry a lot of water.

The other thing about the stations is, you say I'm going to turn on the pump for tank # 4, and go and check the troughs at the woolshed, and on the way back, check the level on tank 4. This job only ever takes 4 hours, including giving the trough a good clean.

Also, we knew where the stuff, and water, and fences, and roads, etc all were.

We are also acclimatized to the area, which normally take between 7 - 10 days. After that, you are cruising as far as weather is concerned.

Anyway, you have made a good point.

FollowupID: 363804

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