Bus break down on Oodnadatta Track

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 20:59
ThreadID: 54643 Views:2514 Replies:4 FollowUps:7
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I saw a bit on this on the evening news, but can't find anything in an online newspaper. Apparently a group of tourists had to walk 40K into William Creek. They had no comms of any kind, not even UHF or an EPIRB.
Can anyone point me to anything published about it ?
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Reply By: Kiwi & "Mahindra" - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:13

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:13
bit hard to believe that a bus would make them walk 40km....but ya never know!! havent heard anything though...!!
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:22

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:22
Apparently it was a tourist bus...I caught the interview with the William Creek pilot guy saying that with the temps, they were lucky. The tour company hadn't heard either, apparently (strange?) and refused to comment.
What actually transpired I don't know. There should have been traffic along there, even at this time of the year. Perhaps they weren't on the main track.
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Reply By: Grey Gonads - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:48

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:48
from the Adelaidenow.com.au website:
"INTERNATIONAL tourists trekked 40km through South Australia's searing Outback in search of help after their tour bus ran out of petrol.
A group of 16 European tourists were left stranded outside William Creek in the state's far north after the bus, run by an Adelaide tour company, broke down at 5pm on Friday.

Three holidaymakers and the bus driver walked for nine hours to William Creek where they raised the alarm as the bus was not equipped with a radio.

There were no reported injuries."
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:54

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:54
Many thanks, I couldn't find anything elsewhere.
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 15:50

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 15:50
What happened to staying with your vehicle????
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Reply By: Member - Douglas M (SA) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 22:07

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 22:07
Hi Footloose
Why am I not surprised!
In Kakadu late 2006 at Twin Falls we came across a tour group using one of those small 4wd Mitsubishi buses with a member who had 3rd degree burns to the sole of his foot We had a registered nurse travelling with us who treated the burn (12 hours after the event he still had not been treated). On being told that the patient needed to go to hospital the tour leader/driver said.

"Has anybody got a satphone?"

Not only that. Karen found that most of the first aid kit on the bus was YEARS out of date and could not be used. She used stuff from our first aid supplies. It looked like the poor guy was not going to get to hospital until the group made their way back to Darwin in the next day or two. Draw your own conclusions.
I've got the name of the company written down somewhere but can't find it but I believe there's plenty of them out there.

In case you haven't guessed he got p====d and walked onto a camp fire.
Doug
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 22:19

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 22:19
I know there are some very good tour operators on this site. But like you I am still amazed by the cowboys out there.
How could they not have any comms at all? Duty of care ?
Ran out of fuel...it happens but I wouldn't expect it from a professional tour operator.
And in your case, outdated medical supplies ?

Don't these people realize that they are playing with the lives of others...and their own? Running a tour company on a shoestring and charging the lowest prices in a cut throat market doesn't sound too smart to me.

When will we legislate a minimum of an epirb in all 4wd hires?

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Follow Up By: Member -Steve.NT - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 22:37

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 22:37
Douglas

I've got the name of the company written down somewhere but can't find it but I believe there's plenty of them out there.

That's a pretty broad assumption.

As of April 1st all tour guides in Kakadu have to have a Tour Guide Accreditation, which is a course done through CDU in Darwin, the first National Park in Oz to do so.

Some times a rogue guide may slip through, but they don't last long.

All Guides in Kakadu must have a current Senior First Aid Certificate all vehicles must have a First Aid Kit, ( mine have one in the car and one in the guides Day pack), you don't have to have a Sat phone although ours has been borrowed on occasion.

But please don't tar us all with the same brush, I take considerable pride in the way I run my tours.

All our guides are Accredited and we have been working on our Business Accreditation as well.

Cheers Steve.

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Follow Up By: Member - Axle - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 23:06

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 23:06
Hi Steve,

Rogues slipping through!!, It occurs with every business, your not on your own!, looked at a repair job today in regard to a sandstone boulder wall , Won't go any further, But !! $20,000, that was paid out for something that failed, was only worth 5k constructed properly.

Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: Member - Douglas M (SA) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 10:10

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 10:10
Hi Steve,
I didn't mean to offend by lumping all tour operators together. On rereading perhaps I was a little negative and should have mentioned the excellent operators as well of which I am sure you are one of many.
I must say that it was not an assumption. There was another group with the same company at Twin falls that had a similarly equipped vehicle so it wasn't just the guide that was pooly prepared. We also spent time travelling Gibb River Road and up to Mitchell falls and Kalumburu and witnessed some arrogant and dangerous behaviour by tour guides. You tend to notice bad behaviour more that the good.
It is good to hear that guides will have to have accreditation in NT but what about the other states?
Do you think that begining on April the first is a good idea?;-)
Doug
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 15:46

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 15:46
I just cannot believe that a Company that takes money from tourists and then puts their passengers lives at risk, could continue to operate.

If you go to sea, you must carry a minimum amount and type of safety gear.

The same should be mandatory for a Bus Tour Company going "bush".
A UHF radio and an EPIRB at the very least should be on board before they depart.

Totally irresponsible practice and one that should be "snuffed out"

Bill


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