I did`nt really know where to put this, but thought it might be interesting to a few of you out there.
I found it whilst reading the Australian news on the internet this moring.
Tourist scrawls SOS and is rescued
A UK tourist has been rescued from a remote West Australian beach after a Coastwatch aircraft spotted an SOS message scrawled in the sand.
Howard Holdsworth's water supply was running dangerously low after spending almost three days stranded on the beach after his vehicle became bogged.
A Broome-based Coastwatch Islander aircraft conducting a routine patrol of the WA coastline located the sand-bogged 4WD at Cape Bertholet, 75 kilometres north of Broome.
The aircraft made a low-level pass that enabled the observers to see the SOS, as well as Mr Holdsworth, 54, waving at the aircraft.
The Customs National Surveillance Centre in Canberra contacted Broome police, who together with the State Emergency Service, mounted a rescue operation.
Mr Holdsworth, who had been travelling alone, said he became bogged after getting lost when he inadvertently drove beyond the nature reserve that was his intended destination.
"Actually the place where I ended up getting stranded for three days was absolutely gorgeous," he said.
Mr Holdsworth, whose family owns a large public transport upholstery company, had been staying with friends in Broome before setting out on his trip.
He was not expected to return to Broome until Friday, and so his friends did not raise the alarm.
Describing himself as a keen naturalist, Mr Holdsworth said he had good knowledge of bush survival skills but found the experience frightening.
"I've got the knowledge but it's being able to use it, because you are in extreme temperatures that I am not used to and it's actually quite hard to think your way out of situations in those kinds of temperatures," he said.
"During the day I kept myself in the shade ... using as little energy as possible, and I worked through the night trying to get the vehicle out.
"I must have shifted tonnes of sand, absolutely tonnes, Jesus!"
Mr Holdsworth shuffled his feet in the wet sand to create the SOS below the high-tide line, to indicate it had been written recently.
"In fact, that's what saved me, because that's exactly what the Coastwatch people noticed."
He will return to Halifax, Yorkshire early next year but has promised to stick to the beaten path until then.
[This message has been edited by Col Campbell (edited 12 December 2003).]
British tourist dies in WA desert
AFP - A British tourist died after becoming stranded in extreme heat in Western Australia's Great Sandy Desert, police said.
They said the man's abandoned car was found about 60km east of an Aboriginal community in the Marble Bar region in the far north of the state.
The man's tracks had been followed for 40km before a sandstorm caused the search to be called off, Police Constable Cindy Morgan of Marble Bar said.
She said the man was still alive when he was found, but died soon after.
"We found him in a very bad state and quite distressed," she said.
"We managed to get him back to a nursing clinic, but despite the best attempts were unable to revive him."
No details about the man have been released.
It was understood police were still attempting to contact relatives in Britain.
I found this one on the news tonight, one happy out come one not quite so, it goes to show the old rule of never leave your vehicle is a pretty big factor in your chance of survival.
One re-reading this post, I noticed one big common factor, "British Tourist" why is it that people who have never been to a remote place, with no experience and probably no research either go off on their tote and try to concour the world, these things do happen, but you certainly can reduce the chances.
On another note it is usually only Brits who get eaten by crocs as well, Nah don`t worry about the warnings signs, I can`t see any of the buggers, she`ll be right to swim in here, OH FECK, what was that.
Stranded UK tourist dies in outback
A 35-year-old British tourist has died after trying to walk 70 kilometres through the Great Sandy Desert to find help after his car became bogged.
Marble Bar police sergeant David Hornsby said Thomas Henry Sykes from London died on Friday morning at a medical clinic in the remote Aboriginal community of Punmu, in West Australia.
Mr Sykes had been trying to drive hundreds of kilometres east towards NSW when his car became bogged.
Two motorists discovered his hired four-wheel drive on Thursday, about 70km east of Punmu, and trackers discovered footprints heading back in the direction of the community.
However, a sandstorm on Thursday night forced them to abandon their search.
Rescuers found Mr Sykes about 7am (WST) when their search resumed on Friday morning. He was still alive but in a critical condition and severely dehydrated.
He was taken to a medical clinic in Punmu but died a short time later.
Sergeant Hornsby said if Mr Sykes had stayed with his car, he would have survived.
"He would have been fine, there was enough water there for a couple of days," he said.
Mr Sykes was not equipped with a satellite phone or EPRIB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon).
Here`s a link to the incident on an Australian forum.
The expression "Fish out of water" comes to mind.
After checking out the above link, I feel that in it's own interest, the Australian Government should organise the introduction of a warning brochure etc that legally has to be handed to all foreigners when hiring cars, when they take receipt of the keys, 4x4 or otherwise. Perhaps there should be a clause in the hire car agreement that the customer has been issued the safety notice/warning & that they understand their responsibilities, possibly with a separate signature?
Any costs involved would be recouped just by one person reading it & then taking the extra precautions of which they were previously unaware, thus preventing themselves from being another statistic. The nature & sheer size of the aussie environment must mean that search & rescue ops are bloody expensive.
Anything that goes someway towards reducing the potential heartbreak of family members & the suffering of the person(s) concerned in such a situation must be a good thing.
Yep I agree, it should be mandatory for a EPRIB, for the extra 40 quid it would have saved the poor blokes lifem and also raised the rescue alarm for the other bloke on the beach as well. The idea of a book and video is also very valid as well, in all honesty I thought the book was a mandtory requirement for 4x4 hire co`s, as the idea had all be put through when I was last living in Perth in 99.
Could be a good prospect for you Chris as you already have the experience of both scribe and film, with experience in both Deserts and OZ? There are a lot of hire 4x4s out there that you could flog em to.
PS, and an effing big big sticker on the windscreen as well, Don`t leave the ***king vehicle, if you are stuck.
Xcusme me guys, but it looks like a very promising nomination to the so-called "Darwin Award".
The guy gets stuck in what looks like a hole up to door handles by spinning the wheels, then " ... shifting tonnes of sand, absolutely tonnes ". He claims he has the knowledge but he finds it "quite hard to think his way out of situations in those kinds of temperatures". I am wondering what kind of temperatures are OK for the knowledge that all is needed is letting air out of the tyres.
Not my kind of hero, anyway...
[This message has been edited by Roman (edited 15 December 2003).]
Yep, darwin award it is. Actually I think one problem is the modern person relies to much on the govt handing out warnings, and not using their brain. No matter how many government regulations you pass someone is going to do something stupid. IMHO we are to the point now that if there is no warning sign up,we feel it must be perfectly safe. Unfortantually when someone gets themselves killed their family suffer and rescue personel put their lives on the line to save someone, just because they did not use their brain. I will get off my soap box now.
I´m with you on this one, John. The last thing the world needs is more regulation. As you say, the more we cosset and protect people (especially compulsorily), the less they think for themselves. Meanwhile, we take away the options for risk, adventure, self reliance, and self-responsibility that many of us value.
Having said all that, I am not sure the poor guy in Oz deserves all the fun being poked at him - getting BADLY bogged can happen to anyone if they are unlucky enough. Of course, it may be that he WAS a complete novice who didn´t know that deflating tyres etc. helps get traction in sand. But maybe something just went a bit wrong, and got steadily worse from there. It has happened to the best, not so? And let´s face it, the press often gets the story hopelesly wrong anyway!
(If he WAS a total prat, I´m all for the Darwinian way of taking care of it, though!)
Take care all,
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