Stranded …

A story that was recently in the news is worth a review.

You can read it at PerthNow where you can also watch a film clip. To summarise, a couple travelling on the Canning Stock Route, one of Australia’s more demanding 4WD tracks in remote Western Australia got bogged and weren’t able to get their vehicle out.

So they reached for their satellite phone, well no they didn’t, no mention of a satellite phone. So they separated and set off walking. Worked well enough for the girlfriend, she walked into a campsite where she was able to raise the alarm. The search started on Friday morning, the boyfriend was found on Sunday …

The Perth man who almost perished in the WA outback has credited skills he learnt on Bear Grylls TV shows for his survival.

Anthony Collis says he ate flowers and bugs during the three days he spent lost in the Pilbara.

The press run this sort of story every chance they get, if I’m ever rescued from the bush I am going to say I survived by eating spiders. It raises the game to a whole new level. He didn’t survive by eating bugs and flowers, he survived despite eating bugs and flowers. Going without food is very uncomfortable but it would take him three or four weeks to die from starvation. He was intending to travel quite a distance up the track, there are no McDonalds on the route so surely there was food in the ute.

How long you can last without water is another issue. It could be just a few hours of heavy exercise in the hot sun, probably three days in shade rigged by the ute, a week at room temperature in comfortable surroundings. And, surely there was more water in the ute than he could carry.

It is winter and it was difficult to keep warm. So Mr Collis buried himself in the sand just like Bear Grylls did in his show. An unexpected side effect of that was to make him invisible to the heat seeking device the police, in their helicopter, were using to locate him.

As always the starting point for the search was the car. Had he been there it would have been a very short search. He wasn’t there. He was three kilometres away. What is the point of being three kilometres away?

You can bury yourself just as well at the car, we know the sand was soft, the car was bogged in it. Three days, three kilometres. It defies logical explanation.

Good preparation for a 4WD trip includes a means of communication, some self rescue equipment, water and food. Both of these people are lucky to have escaped with little damage. Caroline Grossmueller wasn’t so lucky.

It’s a pity that Bear Grylls didn’t tell them to stay with the vehicle, I guess that doesn’t make for spectacular TV.

McGee┬á … not bogged