Unforgiving …

Australia can be a harsh and unforgiving land.

Mauritz ‘Mo’ Pieterse, 25, died when he and a workmate became stranded while inspecting bores on the Ethabuka nature reserve, in Queensland’s southwest on Monday.

Police say the men tried to walk about 10km back to a house on the reserve in 45-degree heat, but Mr Pieterse couldn’t make the distance. <The Australian>.

Ethabuka is a Bush Heritage property acquired in 2004. It is situated on the northern rim of the Simpson desert.

Mo was experienced in outback conditions but paid the ultimate price anyway. He certainly isn’t the first.

Caroline Grossmueller’s story can be found <HERE>. There are a number of lessons to be learnt from the trail of events that led to her entirely unnecessary death.

Bird watching attracts a few of us to these remote places. Australia’s top twitcher, Mike Carter  and his wife were stranded for 15 days near Jupiter Well on the Gary Junction Highway in 1991 due to vehicle failure. Their plight was compounded by the failure of a responsible local to act on their non-return. They did everything they could to avoid the heat and unnecessary water loss and were rescued alive.

Even well maintained vehicles can get bogged or break down. Be prepared, know how to rescue a bogged vehicle, winch and shovel are essential.

Let someone know where you are going and set a deadline for action if you don’t get back.

Take plenty of water and then some more.

Take a satellite phone or radio … it’s the 21st century.

Stay with the vehicle … it’s way easier to find than a person on foot.

Make shade, rest in it to keep as cool as you can, drink thoughtfully … don’t waste it but remember it’s the water in your body that keeps you alive not the water in your water bottle!

Patience.

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