Have you ever been stranded, broken down etc

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 19:42
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My recent post re: amazing camping experiences generated some interesting replies so here's another one...

Whenever anyone is found dead from thirst or exposure in a remote area it usually gets plenty of media coverage. But what about those travellers who manage to get themselves or others out of trouble or at least get help? We rarely hear about them. Now I's like to think most of us here put a lot of careful preparation into each trip such as getting our vehicles checked over/serviced, carry recovery gear, spares, water etc so my question is has anyone actually found themselves in a sticky situation or come across others who needed help?

:o) Melissa
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Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 19:53

Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 19:53
Not been in a sticky situation like that ourselves Melissa but came across a roll-over Paj in 2004 just three days into their married lives and so it was the honeymoon. They were a little upset of course but we spent several hours with them and saw them in their vehicle to Moomba ready to head home. We are still in touch, Christmas cards and the like.

Here moses attempts the wheel alignment. Three rolls and it was fortunate they were travelling slowly :-( Pride and the beautifully conditioned car were hurt, fortunatly not the occupants.
AnswerID: 152570

Follow Up By: Member - Marquis - Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 20:29

Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 20:29
So what caused the roll-over?

I have heard a number of people have rolled due to ruts, flat tyres etc
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Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 20:39

Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 20:39
The road was very slippery at that point due to an overnight storm. Although the road hadn't been closed and was being used by the local gas service vehicles, they too were finding it slippery.

We had seen the storm go through on dusk from some kilometres distance - lightning and the dark falling greyness.

When we got ot the point they had done about a 150 degree turn and then three rolls. One of the service vehicles slipped considerably before they stopped too. The tyres on the rolled vehicle were just under 50% where ours were new A/Ts. I am not sure of his pressures but I had dropped ours for the dirt roads.
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Reply By: Member - Ian H (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 20:26

Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 20:26
On our way to the Canning trip we (4 cars,8 people) came across a Subaru upside down about 120 kms west of Cobar. Woman had lost control and left the road. Didn't hit anything. She had neck and back minor injuries and her husband cuts and bruises. The 4year old in the car seat was totally uninjured. We stayed with them till the ambos and police arrived an hour later. It was very hot and we put up a shade cover over the car. She was removed throught he back passenger door hole as the sdoor was now seperated from the body of the car. Very lucky family.
AnswerID: 152579

Reply By: hoyks - Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 20:36

Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 20:36
We stopped to help a family, about 15k out of Emerald, that had a flat on their old Holden. The jack was stuffed (seized) and they had no water as they were just running into town. It was a nice 40 degree day in January, and no one was stopping as they were black. Nicest guy you would ever meet though.

Helped another guy on a sports bike out on the way home. He was in a bad way after 2 hours on the road on another 40 degree day wearing all black riding gear. Poured 2 L of water into him before seeing him on his way.
AnswerID: 152580

Reply By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 20:54

Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 20:54
Yep I posted awhile back when I got bogged NW of Kalgoorlie. I couldnt winch myself out and granite pear bog doesnt leave much chance of shoveling. So i chucked a map, gps, jacket and cigarete lighter along with 2 litres of water into a plastic back, slung it over my shoulder and walked East from 11am until 9.15pm 40km to A station which was unatended so spent a freezing night in the shearers quarters. The next day I waited at the Coolgardie North road for 1/2 a day but no traffick came. I eventually found the homestead door open and made a few phonecalls with Ben Spoon eventually coming to the rescue
AnswerID: 152585

Reply By: Member - Duncs - Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 22:31

Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 22:31
Back in 1999 on our trip to Cape York we pulled a Dutchman and his wife out of a ditch. It was a near roll over and their roof rack had emptied itself on the road.

We met them later at Pajinka and he offered to buy me a drink. I said if you want to thank me help the next person you see who is in trouble.

A week later we were heading home and decided to turn off the DCS road and head down to Heathlands ranger station. About 100m down the road the GQ just stopped. It was as if someone had turned off the ignition. I got out the workshop manual. It told me nothing, it told my mate nothing. We stopped a guy we had travelled with a bit, he was a mechanic, didn't know what it might be. Drove to Heathlands in my mates car, the Ranger couldn't help so we called a mechanic in Weipa. Fuel shut off solenoid he said. Great I thought, that really helps, not.

When we got back to the car, still not knowing how we could fix it there was a guy wtih his head under my bonnet. He was a diesel mechanic who worked for Mercedes Benz in Holland. He and his mate spent 24 hours with us and despite not having the right spanner for the job he was able to get the solenoid out, remove the little piston that stops the fuel and put it back. That meant the engine would run but I could not switch it off. Still I can stall a car if I need to.

The real irony was that these two guys build fire engines, I am a fireman.

If you are up that way check out the triangle of grass in the middle of the intersection. We camped 16 people on there that night. It was one of the highlights of the trip.

AnswerID: 152620

Reply By: dinodog- Central Coast NSW - Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 23:24

Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 23:24
Always try to help out when I can, rewarding in its self, but try this one on for size. Being semi-retired I do a bit of mowing with a big ride-on. I was mowing an acerage at a place near Jilliby, semi rural area out the back of Wyong last year. See a bloke pushing a dirt bike up the road towards me, big fella in leathers, protection, boots and all just about knacked. Stop what I am doing, go over to him, he is near collapse, give him lots of cold water etc. Big fella tells me that he and a mate are riding the firetrails around watagans, mate has fallen of bike and appears to have broken both arms at least. He has pushed bike about 5ks no fuel. He has no phone and has told no one where they wer going or what they were doing. Problem, no m/phone cover, property uninhabited can't call for help, big fella is concerned that mate is in bad way and lies in area only accesed by 4x4, no m/phone cover there either. My good samaritan gene kicks in, I unhook equipment trailer from the 80, throw big fella in front seat and head off into the Watagans. After 45mins and down steep gully we find his mate, unconcious apparently two broken forearms, two broken wrists and other dings and a fair ammount of claret. Big fella falls apart thinks mate is about to die, I think big fella about to die with grief, I'm extremely concerned about his mate as I can't get him to respond. Can't contact ambos or others, so break golden rule. Decide to get him out asap and contact ambos from top of gully via m/phone. Immobilise both arms with his clothing, stop claret wastage with a towel of mine. Fashion makeshift neck support with lid of tool box and tape his head to it.
By this time big fella is howling and about a usefull as a chocolate tea pot. Convince him to help me lift his mate into back of the 80 with seats folded forward. Head off up gully and manage to contact ambos by phone at top tell them of the situation and condition of mate. They say keep going to main road where they will meet me. Get to main road, paramedics, intensive care ambulance and careflight helicopter waiting. They check condition of mate, throw him straight in chopper and away. Say to me he is in extremely serious condition. But also say good job done. Now problem of big fellas bike and his mates bike which is at bottom of gully. So it happens again, good samaritan gene kickes in. Offer to help retrieve mates bike as they have trailered both bikes into scrub with an old laser. So drive back into scrud attach their trailer to 80 go back down into gully get mates bike. Get back to car hook up trailer, so big fella can drive down a get his bike from where he met me. You guessed it laser decides it likes being in Watagans and absolutely refuses to start despite all my encouragement. Big fella says no tools no spare fuel. My tools on my trailer at Jilliby. Big fella states it some times does this and he just leaves for a couple of days and tries again and it sometimes starts!?! So hook trailer back onto my 80 drive back to big fella's bike put it on trailer. Drive big fella to his place at Forresters Beach and drop of trailer. Big fella frantic about mate as he doesn't know where or what about him. I say to him contact ambos for info he thanks me profusly promises to get in touch with me gets my contact details to let me know how mate is and to buy me a beer. Now normally when some one mentions beer I think fair enough I'll be in that and don't look for any other type of payment. So I drive back to Jilliby finish what I am doing and return home well after dark. Figure apart from anything else of done about 130ks during this incident and about five hours lost time.

Haven't seen or heard one beep out of the big fella or his mate.

Would I do the same thing again?

Yes, because you never know if or when you may need some serious help.

AnswerID: 152634

Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 01:01

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 01:01
Well done mate, Some people don't have any appreciation for the effort of others and thats just the way life goes sometimes.
At least you know what you did and you should feel pretty good about yourself.

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Reply By: govo - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 01:33

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 01:33
ln 1984 on the road from Bowen to Townsville came across a Ford 351 hardtop that run off the road and wrapped the front end around a big gum..car was starting to catch fire and l had nothing to put it out, small family was trapped inside. A elderly couple towing a van pulled up,jumped out with 2 fire extin and threw me one ..we slowed the fire down long enough for me to smash the rear window and climb in and get the wife and 2 small girls out and then had to stand there and watch the car burn with the poor lady's husband stuck inside wedged on the steering wheel ,by the time the fire brigade turned up it was too late to save him.The wife and 2 girls thankfully were too dazed to realize what was happening.
l found out later he was a officer in the army at 1st Brigade in townsville.
The day after i returned home to Emerald and went straight to the local hardware store and purchased 2 fire ex ..of which l have yet to use...but you never know when you need them...l can still close my eyes and remember that awful scene vividly even after all these years . l always wanted to contact that lady to tell her how sorry l felt for not being able to save her husband..god bless him
AnswerID: 152650

Follow Up By: gramps - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 01:54

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 01:54
Don't know what to say. Govo, you're a hero and I mean that literally and sincerely.
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 02:06

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 02:06
Another well done, Mate you did better than your best and those 2 kids were given a chance to grow up with at least one parent.
Don't be sorry for your effort's.
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Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 08:29

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 08:29
I have had a electrical fire in my old Hilux, halfway up a mountain at blackduck valley...car was dead and not moving. CB was fried all electrics was dead...got a lift down to the office with my brother...phoned RACQ told them my car is up a mountain send a guy with a 4x4...and who turns up 2 hours later. The bloke in his long tow truck, he said where is the car....I pointed up the mountain and he said see ya

I begged and begged finally he jumped in the car with my brother we went back up to my car and he started fiddling around about 60 min later he got the car to start don't ask me how, but he bypassed everything under the dash. I had to drive this thing all the way down the mountain with no power steering , was probably the hardest drive I have done over rocks and very steep turns. Got down the bottom and she went straight onto the tow truck

I got my car back 4 weeks later all fixed up and $4000 later. Somehow the insurance company paid out and I was a very happy lad

Problem was the dual battery in the tray. The terminal on the battery snapped off, don't ask me how but it did.....so the little clamp was flapping around in the steel tray sending short spikes of 24V through the car. The earth for that model Hilux was right next to the power steering pump and hoses, that's where the fire started. Lucky for me I bought a fire extinguisher 2 weeks before we went out there.

Things I learnt from there was make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy. If I didn't have that she would have gone booooom

AnswerID: 152673

Reply By: Jodi - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 12:45

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 12:45
Between Chrissy and New Year just passed I had the fortune to spend a few days on Bruny Island in Tassie. We had the 4WD out and about checking out all the spots (Step Father grew up on the island and his father just passed away so were were back again). As we were returning along a dirt track (although easy for 2WD) we came around a bend to discover a Suzuki Ignis on its roof. Finally found the family sheltering under a tree. I couldn't believe no injuries, just a cut to the little girl's forehead. This one little car and been carrying 5 people and was loaded to the hilt. Looking inside I cannot believe somebody didn't lose their head as everything that had been in the back was in the front. They had managed to crawl out and I have no idea how they managed to fit in the little space that was left.

Anyway, moral of the story, this family had no phone reception, no water and no first aid kit. Thankfully we had all three as well as a fire extinguisher (which thankfully did not need to be used). Waited 40 mins for local ambo and police to get there after we made the call. Little girl is fine. Many locals drove past while we were waiting with offers to flip the car over and move on - until they realised the people that were in the car were not locals. You just never know what is going to happen and I would always rather be overprepared than under prepared. If we had not come along and there were more serious injuries they would have been stuck in the heat of the day with no water, a small child and no first aid.
AnswerID: 152709

Reply By: DavidT - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 21:51

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 21:51
In 2004 Wwe set of on our maiden trip into the outback we had planned on going to tiboburra, Camerons Corner , Innaminka , Birdsville & The Flinderrs Rangers and home via Broken Hill.
We did not know we would be in for such an adventure. We travelled across Walkers Crossing little did we know that their had been a storm through there that night. Well it was realy slippery and Boggy. We had taken it easy when I jacked Knife the Camper Trailer in to the back of the car. After a few running repairs we where on our way to Birdsville, What a great town, after a couple of days R&R we where of down the Birdsville Track to Mungerannie, about half way to Mungerannie we noticed the car was jerking a bit I thought maybe Fuel problems but what had happened was the tyre on the Camper Trailer had blown and and the trailer was riding on the rim we had not felt it. All that was left was a bent axle a piece of leaf spring just the bearing housing. We found the Rim and all the leaf spring bits up the road and kept them. We had decided that the best thing was leave me there and my wife and friends went on to Mungerranie to see what they could work out all our gear was in the camper trailer. I was not going to leave it behind, so of they went on the way my mate got bogged and my wife pulled them out.
I was sitting on the Birdsville TRack in October in the heat I had plenty of water, it is surprising the people who stopped to offer assistance and the people who drove past me!!!!, the truckie who does the run up the Bird Track stopped he offered to put the trailer in the back of his truck but how do you put 1 tonne of trailer into that, he was a realy nice guy he met up with my wife, kids & friends at munngerannie and said i was ok my friends had contacted the station that i was broken down on and asked if they could assist.
About 5.00pm i was working out where i was going to sleep that night when a ute turned up it was the local station manager and a couple of guys, they put me up for the night and they gave me a great feed, the next morning we went down to the trailer and put it on one of their stock trucks and they let me drive it down to Mungerannie where we of loaded the trailer. WHAT A GREAT BUNCH OF GUYS I FILLED THE TRUCK UP WITH FUEL AND FILLED THE CAB UP WITH BEER FOR THEM, THEY WOULD COME FOR THE TRUCK LATER ON.
Well that night Johno let me borrow some blocks and we dropped what was left of the running gear of the trailer and luckily we had all the bits of the spring. We had spocken to the gentleman at Copley who said he would work something out so the next day off i went down the Birds ville Track the gentleman at Copley re set the spring and did some welding to it, the axle he cut in half and welded a stubb axle to it and put a holden unbraked hub on it and off i went, my mate was waiting, that night we put it all back together again and finished our holidays.

We are absolutely hooked with the outback the people are great
Apart from the dramas we had a great holiday
AnswerID: 152827

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