'Competent four wheel drivers' indeed- Madigan Line

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 at 15:40
ThreadID: 75997 Views:5187 Replies:11 FollowUps:20
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I've just been reading the VKS737 Network News which arrived during the week.

The first story is about two female walkers traversing the Madigan line (with vehicle support). They 'find' a group of three travellers in two vehicles who had taken a wrong turn and were completely lost.

"They could not believe their eyes when they saw the 'two sheilas' out for a walk and thought they must have travelled onto a property.

Although they were competent four wheel drivers they had travelled east to west on the Madigan Line by mistake.....When we reached them we had used about 70L of fuel each and they had only 50L in each of their two vehicles. What is more they had no HF radio or satphone, no GPS and no adequate map to guide them. They were a 100 km north of where they expected to be and their chances of survival would have been slim if we had not met them...."

Unbelievable!!!
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Reply By: Member - Scoot (SA) - Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 at 15:56

Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 at 15:56
That is asking for trouble was this in summer.Scary
AnswerID: 404054

Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 at 17:11

Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 at 17:11
It was September last year. The two lost vehicles were Hiluxes. No-one from here I hope.
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Reply By: Member - Andrew L (QLD) - Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 at 20:53

Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 at 20:53
The article about the 2 walkers doing Madigan was good, but the diatribe about the 2 "lost" Hilux's in the magazine was pretty ordinary, and particularly the 2nd article in the same mag about the same "lost" Hilux's.

Sure they were lost, sure they were under prepared and under resourced for where they were, but they didn't plan to be there or do that particular route.....it happened because they went north instead of south at Poeppels Corner...and tried to get unlost ....by getting more lost...it happpens.

I am sure they are lucky, appreciated the assistance, and have learnt from it...but did it really need two digs in the 1 magazine edition.

AnswerID: 404091

Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 at 21:40

Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 at 21:40
Andrew

You make it sound like they were just unlucky "they didn't plan to be there or do that particular route". Sounds like they didn't plan anything.

I take the view that they were criminally negligent: no comms, no maps, no GPS, not enough fuel. They were extremely lucky (how often would you strike an oncoming group on the Madigan Line) not to have died out there. As it was they inconvenienced several other groups.

The purpose of the articles in an HF journal was to highlight the need for adequate preparation. If we can't learn from others mistakes, must we all make the same mistake so we can learn from our own? Call it a dig if you like, but I think the story should be published widely to warn as many as possible that this is a serious business that needs serious preparation.

What they did was like attempting to climb Everest wearing thongs.

Bob
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew L (QLD) - Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 at 22:04

Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 at 22:04
Bob, appreciate your seriousness of the situation as it turned out to be, but you are taking some aspects out of true context.

Not enough fuel to do a east to west of the Madigan..sure..but that was not their intention..

Inconvenienced several other groups...??.. I think most of us out there are happy to assist if required...these blokes made a bad mistake back at Poepells, and continued with bad decisions by trying to "progress" their way out.

Lucky for them, the walkers and their convoy were there to assist, could have been me, or others too assisting, ...but they did good, I am sure it didn't hinder their own pursuit to assist the walking event.

As for the maps.. thats very bad responsibility,, but for GPS for their intended trip,,, I never had one when I first did the Simpson east/west and west east, maps and common sense were fine, as they were for many travellers before affordable access to GPS devices.

I agree there was licence to report the incident in the magazine, but to repeat it from another person in the same issue... I don't think so.

As for criminally negligent...what offence against legislation has occurred..??

Maybe some "uncommon sense" is the appropriate charge..?

I think I got peeved when the issue was raised a 2nd time in the same article, and we also had to be treated by the ongoing saga from the previous issue of the length of a tree in a campfire and a conflict of opinions between a camper and a government authorised officer over another piece of legislation relating to permitted or non permitted camp fires.

Overall I appreciate and support 737.
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Follow Up By: Member - Longtooth (SA) - Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 at 22:28

Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 at 22:28
About ten to twelve years ago there was another article in a report in the same magazine. It referred to a couple of us who arrived in Dalhousie Springs after the area was flooded and the article writer stated that we 'did not know we were lost'. Probably because we knew exactly where we were at all times and had more than enough fuel/food/water for another two weeks, and furthermore we arrived in Dalhouse about six hours ahead of schedule.

Beware of some reports by those who know not what they write. Should be more checking done prior to going to print.
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Reply By: _gmd_pps - Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 at 23:28

Saturday, Feb 13, 2010 at 23:28
ocean crossings have been made with only a compass and a sextant. Whats your point ? one does not need a gps or HF radio or satphone. How smart to have all this ?! Capitalising from personal mistake or suffering others to promote a product is a very low from of advertising.

have fun
gmd
AnswerID: 404111

Follow Up By: Member - Wayne B (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 13:46

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 13:46
I feel more comfortable with GPS and Good maps. It is important you know where you are at all times, encase the GPS quits

Most pilots of small aircraft rely on the GPS and don't keep track of where they are on an actual map. The GPS goes has a holiday and they haven't a clue where they are.
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Follow Up By: _gmd_pps - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 16:25

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 16:25
Yeah, sure Wayne,
some people need a calculator to add 2 + 2
and some people rely on their gps/nav without double checking and run into dead ends.
Sure its is nice to have a GPS and good maps .. I do agree,
but there are people smart enough to get along without.

have fun
gmd

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FollowupID: 673885

Reply By: Ozrover - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 08:55

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 08:55
These guys finally turned up here a couple of days after the Madigan line heart foundation walkers came across them.

We had been put on alert to look out for them by VKS in Port Augusta, if they hadn't turned up when they did a full search was being organised by the SA police, rangers etc..

These guys (Two brothers & one of there sons) went north instead of south/west at Poepple cnr after leaving the Birdsville races.

If they hadn't been set on a course to get them out of the North Simpson then no one would have known where they had disappeared to.

Apart from anything else they are lucky to be alive!
AnswerID: 404127

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 09:22

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 09:22
Shouldn't be out there if you can't tell the difference between north and south.

Were they really lost??? or just making up a story.
AnswerID: 404132

Follow Up By: Member - Russnic [NZ] - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 11:18

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 11:18
Hi Phil G
Totally agree. i Read the article as well and wondered.
Been a bit confused at times in NZ Bush but never been lost.
The great thing about travelling out there most nights are clear, the pointers and the Southern Cross stand out like dogs testicles, that way is south the other way is north. look south, west is to your right, and so on.
I must admit I do get confused in the City's at times, that is why l like to P-ss off out of those places as quick as I can.
How could you go the wrong way at Poepples Corner?. To long at Birdsville and races?
Russ.
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Reply By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 09:26

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 09:26
With all due respect to people that were involved first hand, I'm on the fence with this.... I read the story with interest, and appreciate that the two Hiluxes had simply made an error of judgement that saw them rather "lost". I don't have the copy of the mag right here with me, but if I remember correctly, they were low on fuel, but had plenty of water and food. So they were prepared at least a little! Yes, they were in the wrong place, but we've all done that at some stage, I know I have.... ;-))...Sometimes being lost can give you an adventure you otherwise may not have had. No GPS?? Well, GPS are very handy IMHO, but not a necessity for traveling. No (or out-of-date... I forget) maps?? Well, that's a bit daft, isn't it?? They probably ARE lucky that they found the walkers group , but the main thing is that they did find them. Only they (the walking group) can answer whether or not they were inconvenienced by it, after all, they were there anyway weren't they? They didn't have to go out of their way to find them at all..... :-)) And the people at Mt Dare were "hostile" towards them, but were they inconvenienced? Why "hostile" anyway?

And the bit about competent 4WD'ers???.... well, they probably are. Competent map readers?? Maybe not... sounds like they need some tuition... Hopefully next time they head out there they'll be better organized!

As far as the mag goes, I enjoyed the story on the ladies walking across the Madigan Line, but the letter on page 7 leaves a lot to be desired... I realize that the letter-writer was involved 1st hand with this, but to carry the "How stupid can some travellers be" heading is a bit much. There was a time when NONE of us knew it all, and we all learn by different methods.

There is an opportunity for both parties to learn something from this.

Just my opinion people, if you don't agree with it, that's fine!!

Cheers

Brian

AnswerID: 404133

Follow Up By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 09:30

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 09:30
I forgot to mention the "No HF or satphone" bit...... which raises an interesting question in my opinion...... Which did Burke & Wills... use a HF or a satphone??

:-))


Cheers

Brian


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Follow Up By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 09:31

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 09:31
Dang it....... should have re-read it first....

I meant to write:

I forgot to mention the "No HF or satphone" bit...... which raises an interesting question in my opinion...... Which did Burke & Wills use..... a HF or a satphone??

:-))


Cheers

Brian
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Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 09:47

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 09:47
"Which did Burke & Wills use..... a HF or a satphone"

Neither and look where that got them! ;-))

Sounds to me like a couple of Hilux drivers would be down at the comms store then off to uni to learn how to use their new gadgets. I did not read the article at all and this is first knowledge of the topic but even the most experienced make "mistakes". I pulled a tour operator out of a creek bed in the Gulf of Carpentaria back in the early 90's after his "mistake" but you didn't read about that one and he wasn't criticised like these guys......I sure didn't feel "inconvenienced" one little bit, rather pleased to be able to help.

Whoever and wherever you are travel safe, but just travel as there is too much to miss out on otherwise.

Cheers, Trevor.
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Follow Up By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 11:45

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 11:45
Hi Trevor...

Well said mate!


Cheers

Brian


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Follow Up By: get outmore - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 14:13

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 14:13
"I forgot to mention the "No HF or satphone" bit...... which raises an interesting question in my opinion...... Which did Burke & Wills use..... a HF or a satphone?? "

they both died remember?
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FollowupID: 673854

Follow Up By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 19:09

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 19:09
Yeah, they did.......

;-))

Cheers

Brian
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FollowupID: 673902

Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 11:23

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 11:23
I'd be interested to see how many would spring to their defence if they had been similarly unprepared foreign tourists in a Britz camper?
AnswerID: 404146

Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 11:42

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 11:42
Further more, I thought the Desert Parks pass included the Westprint Map of the Simpson- it used to. They must both have forgotten to bring the map.
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Follow Up By: Member - Russnic [NZ] - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 12:01

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 12:01
My Pass included that.
As a visitor I do try to keep informed, Great Desert Tracks GPS etc
Most times still know which way is up/down
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FollowupID: 673829

Follow Up By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 12:02

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 12:02
Anyone, no matter who, SHOULD only be out there if they are well prepared, no what they're doing and where they're going. No question! Britz camper hirers as well, although there always seems to be a question as to whether the tuition offered by the hire company is enough and that's where they (the hiree's) come unstuck. But if (when??) they get into strife, we should at least help them.... shouldn't we??
As to the pass, maybe they didn't buy a pass....... which is definitely NOT the right thing IMHO, but I have read others thoughts on this before, right here on EO. There are those who don't see the value in it, and those who see it as another govt rip-off. That's their prerogative. We're still using our maps that came with our pass 18 months ago for planning our next visit..... but not everybody does what they should I guess.
I certainly hope that if we get lost out there, (and trust me anything is possible with me at the wheel...LOL) others will come to our assistance. We are prepared, have HF radio and maps and GPS and will carry lots of water and food, but we just might a hand with something..... you never know! :-))
And of course, if our help is needed, we'll be there!!

Cheers


Brian


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FollowupID: 673830

Follow Up By: equinox - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 12:18

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 12:18
Hi Brian,

I certainly didn't appreciate having to fork out $90 or so for the 28 hours (6pm to 9:30pm the next day) or so it took me to get from Mt Dare to Birdsville (including sleep time).

I don't mind having to fork out a nominal fee, but I didn't need any of the info / maps that came with the pass. They should have a cheaper pass without maps etc for those who research themselves. Oh well, when in Rome...

Cheers
Alan

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.

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Follow Up By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 13:30

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 13:30
Hi Alan,

Valid point you raise there. Perhaps they should have a cheaper pass, as there are a lot of people who have traveled the deserts on more than one occasion.

Cheers

Brian


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Follow Up By: Member - Howard (ACT) - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 14:16

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 14:16
that must be it - their vehicle turned north instead of south so they didnt enter SA without a desert pass.
Have to agree with the comments from others about level of navigation skills -you would have to admit its a pretty major plunder and to travel north as far as the madigan line and not realise you were heading the wrong way I'm surprised they got from birdsville into the desert in the first place.
at least none is dead or injured- live and learn.
cheers
Howard
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Reply By: Jack - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 14:06

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 14:06
I thought the article was very poorly written. It is consistent with the overall standard of that magazine.

The author of that article implied he was a "legend" for finding these people because he was so well prepared............but he to become lost near the Eyre Creek and had to call for help and had both the Qld Police & Park Ranger out in the Desert guiding them back ..........mmmmmmm!!!!!?????

I feel sorry for the "hilux" drivers, as we have not heard their side of the story?

Although, I am very well prepared when I head into the Desert, I would never through stones at some else's misfortune, because I may need some assistance one day and would hate to have been taken advantage of and misquoted in the media just to fuel some one else's ego.


Jack
AnswerID: 404163

Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 14:41

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 14:41
Jack

The author of the article, like all of us at some time, got lost.

But he had the communication etc to deal with the problem.

The point I would make is that you don't just throw a bit of food and a few beers in the Engel and head off into the wilderness (like the hilux drivers obviously did).

An analogy would be to drop your trailer sailer into the water at Eden and head off for New Zealand without charts, radio etc. Yes, the ancients might have done it. But in this day and age, with a GPS costing a couple of hundred, and being able to hire a satphone for a few bucks, there is no excuse for such stupidity.

We all make mistakes (like getting lost), but wilful negligence is another matter altogether and deserves condemnation.

I couldn't give a rodents that the article was poorly written. These people aren't journalists - just punters like you and me.

BTW, if we didn't hear their side of the story how could they have been misquoted as you claim?

Bob
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FollowupID: 673868

Reply By: Member - Echidna - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 19:28

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 19:28
Yeah I agree with you Bob.

How stupid can people be. Lucky they came across the walkers or else it could have been a certain tragedy. Remeber the two blokes in the old Landy who set out from Cotton Creek(their last stop) to take a short cut to Halls Creek. They never made it.

Image Could Not Be Found

Cheers
AnswerID: 404209

Reply By: Crackles - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 21:46

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 21:46
This incident highlights how a lack of base skills or poor trip preparation can lead to disaster just from a simple mistake like taking a wrong turn. While many here are going what a pack of nongs they were I'd put up to 10% of all people crossing the Simpson in the same class being equal if not less prepared & it's just circumstance, luck, or fellow travellers helping out that gets them through. The advent of trek notes, gps track logs & endless articles makes these runs look so simple even to a novice particually when coupled with poor advice from others who say how easy it was. Many today take on the big treks without 1st serving their apprenticeship learning the basics of navigation, 1st aid, offroad driving, recovery & mechanics etc. "Unbelievable!!!" I suppose in that light the result shouldn't be that unexpected. Even the crew that rescued them becoming lost to the point of requiring outside assitance begs the question "Were they even prepared enough for the Madigan?"
The VKS newsletter did seem to bag out on the Hilux pair a little more than they do with their own members who in previous articles have been guilty of equally questionable decisions & whom I'd include in that illprepared 10% despite fitting a HF :-)
Cheers Craig.............
AnswerID: 404236

Reply By: The Explorer - Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 21:13

Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 21:13
Thing I found interesting about the VKS article was the list of "traps" for those undertaking the journey, in particular this one:

“The camp markers were laid out using a Magellan GPS. We had one Magellan and three Garmin GPS’s. The Magellan was almost spot on whereas the Garmin’s were consistently about 400 metres out.”

Now ..without knowing the full circumstances, details of what exact gps units were involved, and excluding the possibility that the writer is sponsored by Magellan the comment gives me the impression they had the Garmin units set to a different datum to the Magellan. Under normal circumstances there would be negligible difference between these two GPS brands i.e. using a Garmin is not a "trap" when travelling the Madigan Line (or anywhere else), though using the wrong datum could be.

Cheers
Greg

PS - No Im not sponsered by Garmin:)
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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