[LINK] Lost in the Blue Mountains: triple-0 operator 'uncaring'

Marghanita da Cruz marghanita at ramin.com.au
Fri Apr 17 14:44:38 AEST 2009

Ivan Trundle wrote:
> On 17/04/2009, at 1:57 PM, Marghanita da Cruz wrote:
>> Though I would guess that checking with the police or the local 
>> bushwalkers
>> club/tourist info center etc would have provided them with useful 
>> information as
>> to what they should carry with them and attempt - maybe even a basic 
>> guide to
>> bushwalking as well as the ePIRB.
>> Unfortunately, I can't help but see parallels here with 17 year old 
>> male drivers.
> Not at all. This was a Duke of Edinburgh Scheme walk, and part of the 
> requirements of the scheme is to be well-prepared, and to have 
> undertaken other walks in anticipation of this trip. They would also 
> have had to notify the authorities, and leave a route plan - if they did 
> NOT do this (and the inquest will determine this) - then they have not 
> carried out explicit DofE instructions.

This is what the Australian Article said - note "thought was part of":
> The tragedy began when David set out with two friends on December 10 for a bushwalk which they thought was part of the Silver Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

> It was a three-day walk, which implies that they were not well-advanced 
> in their understanding and learning of the challenges of such 
> activities, but then they were most unlikely to be rank beginners.
> As with all such tragic events, 20-20 hindsight tells you what should be 
> done to mitigate such circumstances, but I'd be very reluctant to 
> compare the inexperience of a young bushwalker with the inexperience and 
> bravado of young drivers.

The statement in the Australian - would indicate otherwise.

> I've seen many similar events both here and overseas (it was my job and 
> my life for many years), and as with all adventurous activities, there 
> is an element of risk - removing the risk entirely is impossible. I've 
> also seen very experienced people suffer the same fate: and any amount 
> of safety gear will NOT prevent tragedies from repeating themselves.

I also have some experience as a child and adult of bushwalking and cross
country skiing. In the lead up to my  Queens Guide I lead others camping/bush
walks/orientiering/map reading etc - without a mobile phone or the Internet -
but under careful supervision and guidance of a Adult Leader. I was also a
little younger. 17 year olds are not children but they are not adults...there
are many questions about the trip, its planning, why or how they got separated.

 From a bigger picture perspective, I have also been to Uluru where there is a
sign from the local aboriginals saying it is dangerous to climb the rock and one
look confirms this. A walk around the rock is interesting and includes
waterpools and handprints from hundreds if not thousands of years. We did not
have a local aboriginal guide and our guide even discouraged us from visiting the
Aboriginal Craft centre...and 12 years on...

Marghanita da Cruz
Phone: (+61)0414 869202

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