OH................................. What a Night

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 07:44
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Last night is a night that will go into the memory banks for a long time to come.

I had just settled down in front to the T.V (about 7pm) to watch the Wallabies take on Italy when the phone rings. It was the SES Group leader wanting to know if I was able to attend a vehicle recover "NOW" , Thinking the Wallabies were a "Sure Bet" to win I agreed and quickly organised a few bits to take with me.

Our SES Group is usually called upon to recover vehicles that involve "Mud" or haul lengths that are too great for the local "Towie". We have an Old Truck with an 8 Tonne PTO winch, which has a down hill cruising speed of 75km/h.

The recover last night started off as a 3 vehicle recovey on the Mud Flats at Barney Point in Gladstone. The mud flats are the standard bottomless bog once the crust is broken.

When we arrive at the site, the number of vehicles to be recover had reduced to 1 as the local "Towie" was able to winch the first 2 out.

I might now add that 2 of the three vehicles that we were to recover from the Mud Flats were QLD Police vehicles hahahahaha
The third was a Jeep who was unregistered but went to the aid of the closest Police vehicle but sunk to his axles very very quickly.
The closest Police vehicle was a Troopy that also was going to the rescue of the one that was initially stuck but road pressures on that surface means they soon discovered that sinking feeling and started playing in the mud.

With the Troopy and Jeep recovered when we arrived, we asked the Copper in charge where the other vehicle was, his reply was out there as he pointed towards the distant reflection on the mud flats.
It was a standard Falcon Sedan patrol vehicle that was used to chase kids on their dirt bikes LOL Funnily enough the kids weren't caught. We walked out the the vehicle and had a look to see if we could extract it with out having to winch it out. When we got there it soon became obvious that it wasn't going any where without major external assistance as it was down onto the floor pan in the bottomless bog.

I commented to the Copper who was "Guarding" the wallowing vehicle that he had done well to get it this far. He quickly replied that he wasn't the driver, as they had sent the driver and partner to do all the beat jobs until their shift ended, then they were to come back and take over.

The total distance the vehicle was out on the mud flats was about 300m. We were going to drive the Groups Troopy out and winch it out but was over ruled by the Local Police Inspector who decreed that no more vehicles were to drive on the mud flats :(
I am certain that the Troopy would have driven over the mud flats if it was prepared properly, i.e. drop the tyre pressures and not make hard turns that dig the front tyres in to the crust to the bog below.

So with that effectively ruled out we had to run a winch line out to the vehicle. We had about 250m worth of cable with us in the Truck so we commenced setting that up. At the same time we then had the issue of working out where to connect the Vehicle up to. It didn't have a tow bar so we had to dig down through the mud to get a strap around the rear passenger wheel wishbone assembly, which was quite an effort as we had to clear the shock , brake lines, callipers etc.
We ended up about 50m short of cable to reach the vehicle so we had to find a few alternate bits to use.
I finally realised that the others hadn't used our standard recovery kits and there was still 2 x 20m winch extension straps in them, but even with them we came up just short.
A length of drag chain was then added to the line and completed the run.

Then we added as many winch dampeners as we could find over the cables etc made a large exclusion zone and commenced winching the vehicle at about 10pm.

We only had to winch the vehicle about 10m before it was able to drive under it's own steam. In reverse for about 300m along the length of cable just in case it sunk again we drove the police car out of there.

I should also not that it was the first time I was actually encouraged to let the tyres down on a police car by police LOL

I have some photos being sent to me soon so hopefully they turn out.

All up we had everything sorted and I rolled back into home at Midnight to find out that the Wallabies won and everyone else was in bed.

Now I need to clean my gear as it is covered in black sticky mud.

Cheers Kev
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Reply By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 08:02

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 08:02
Kev looking for a police vehicle.

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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 08:05

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 08:05
Doug,

You forgot to add the mask to stop me from getting "Swine Flu" hahahahahaha


For some reason they didn't like me referring to the Stuck vehicle as the "Swine" LOL

Cheers Kev
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Reply By: Rockape - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 08:04

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 08:04
Kev,

You will receive 1 year of get out of jail cards, all free.
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 08:06

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 08:06
I hope so LOL

We will no doubt have some fun with them for a long time to come yet ;)

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Reply By: BenDiD - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 08:25

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 08:25
Kev,

A great story - can't wait to see some photo's.

I lived up there for a while so I can well imagine the scene!! ha ha ha. I can even smell that disgusting mud.

It was a nice looking beach at high tide, but in summer the box jellies were a bit of a worry.

OT - is the SES shed still near the Philip St & Rifle Range Rd Roundabout?

And more importantly, is there still a picnic race meeting near Calliope on Boxing Day?

cheers

Ben

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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 08:38

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 08:38
The Gladstone SES Unit is still there,

We are in Calliope in Menzies Street

I am pretty sure the Picnic races are still on on Boxing Day

I am going back there soon to take some day time pics ;)
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Follow Up By: BenDiD - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 08:50

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 08:50
cheers Kev
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Reply By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 08:59

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 08:59
G/Day Kev

Thank God we have the SES, well done, I remember several years ago, a Police Vehicle was bogged on a Pipe Line Easement on the Gold Coast, I was doing a call out on a Water Reservoir Site, the Male and Female coppers were somewhat embarrased as they had no excuse for being there, any way I helped them out of their predicament, and all was well,
PS, They were just trying to get to know each other better.

Cheers
Daza
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 09:19

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 09:19
This pair had gotten stuck at around 2:30 - 3:00pm but didn't call for help till after dark......................................why do they do that??

It would have been easier to do it in day light.

Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: tim_c - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 13:58

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 13:58
Easy, they didn't want the locals to watch them being winched out, especially not in broad daylight... so they waited until everyone was inside watching the footy! :)
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Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 09:22

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 09:22
An interesting night, Kev, while you were playing in the mud I was at Canberra Stadium watching the Wallabies, & in all honesty you didnt miss much. A pretty patchy performance, although the young fullback looked the goods. No mud
there but bloody cold, had to imbibe a bit of the bear sponsors product to
maintain blood flow...lifes a bitch....:)))....oldbaz.
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 09:26

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 09:26
Thanks for the run down LOL

I am hoping some of the Bears products will find it's way to us before our next training night LOL


Cheers Kev
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 09:32

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 09:32
What a lot of fun Kev

Interesting how those nominally in charge don't take advice of those more familar with a situation.

Good to see it came out easily in the end - you reminded me to go out and check my winch ropes after last weekend and to throw in an extra length.

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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 09:35

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 09:35
I hope i don't have to clean all those cables and straps ;)

There is a "Community Service" person that has been nominated to do that for us. I just hope he gets it all done in 8 hours.

Playing in the mud is always interesting and we were lucky enough to be doing it in Winter as in Summer we would have been swarmed with mozzies LOL


Cheers Kev
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Reply By: GLX3000 - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 12:16

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 12:16
Nice to have a giggle first thing Sunday morning.

Of course I realise that its not polite to laugh out too loud, or too long. Not that I'm planning on any mud wallowing anytime soon.

Great story Sir Kev.

S'pose the Police will be coming around to the SES shed with crayfish 'n beer this arvo.

wood4me

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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 13:25

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 13:25
I am hoping they will turn up with a few cold beverages LOL

I kept getting frowned upon for calling the stuck patrol car a SWINE hahahaha

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Reply By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 12:20

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 12:20
NOTICE: Training this week has been changed from "knots" to "cable cleaning" and "Acco cleaning techniques". Members are asked to be at the Unit early and bring a fresh change of clothes and a bag of cleaning rags. A sausage sizzle on the engine of the Acco will be held afterwards. Thanks in advance for your attendance of this activity. LOL




BTW i want to know if you tick the box for "was equipment adequate"? ;-)

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 13:23

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 13:23
The Acco was jump started by the low lux twice so a new battery is now needed.

The equipment is now being reassessed and I reckon BCF (SES Sponsor) will be seeing me next week to discuss prices of Winch Extension straps etc ;)

Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 16:43

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 16:43
I was just talking to Brian the other day about the winch...we use to have an Acco years ago in my old Unit....drives up hill and down dale at 1mph. They must have been a standard issue back when......

I like the wear mark on the shackle....probably derated it to 10 tonne now. lol

Andrew

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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 16:58

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 16:58
hahahaha

I am trying to get them to upgrade to a Unimog with winch ;)

I think we could have gotten the vehicle out with a set of Maxtraxs as well so they are on the list of gear to purchase as well.

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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 18:04

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 18:04
How about approaching maxtrax distributors for a "donation"....i'm sure they would get a sale or two without any mentioning of the product to the guys stuck. ;-)

Andrew
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Reply By: D200Dug- Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 13:02

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 13:02
Good work by the SES again !
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 13:26

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 13:26
Someone has to come to the rescue of the Police as no one would LOL
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Follow Up By: D200Dug- Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 13:29

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 13:29
Not the first time the SES has pulled them out of the bleep and it won't be the last either :-)
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 13:59

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 13:59
Especially up around here ;)
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Reply By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 18:15

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 18:15
Hi Kev,

Now Queensland's finest are seriously indebted to you maybe they can arrange a convoy type escort for all attending the National Gathering?

Imagine that one! Convoys of EO's descending on St George!

Geoff

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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 18:16

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 18:16
Geoff,

i may need their help to get rid of some of the attendee's at the end of the Gathering (i.e Goldie) hahahahaha
Russell Coight:
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Reply By: The Geriatric Gypsies - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 20:32

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 20:32
bloody toyota drivers what was wrong with darkie not up to the job again lololol
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 06:36

Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 06:36
Steve,

It is a bit hard when the Area Insector states that no other vehicle is to drive on the mud flats.
As there was 2 of us, one with the mighty LANDCRUISER and the other with a RW GQ Comp Truck at home that we were willing to go and get LOL


Cheers Kev
Russell Coight:
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Reply By: tim_c - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 14:04

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 14:04
Great post Sir Kev - it's often good to read stories of people getting vehicles out of trouble (been in a 'spot of bother' a few times myself!). I can't wait to see the pictures!
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 14:09

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 14:09
I am still waiting for the photos to turn up.

The bloke that took them is a Long Haul truckie so it may be a few more days before I get them :(
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Reply By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 14:40

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 14:40
Just read your great story Kev - please post the photos when you get them!
I'm amazed at how many of our Members are volunteers with the SES - good to see representation of a good crew of helpful, hands on people.
MM
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 14:54

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 14:54
Michelle,

I have just copied it into a Blog so if I get some time or this thread archives, I can add the photo's there as well :)

Cheers Kev
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Reply By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 19:58

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 19:58
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The distance has been measured and it was further than I thought, it was 375m from solid ground to where the vehicle sank.

The lights in the background are the lights at the Boyne Island Smelter.

Cheers Kev
Russell Coight:
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