Father And Child Rescued After Friends Walk Twelve Hours Looking For Help
Jan 12, 2021 by apost team
In December 2020, a father and son duo were rescued from the Australian Outback after their companions walked for hours looking for help. Australia was faced with the La Nina phenomenon, which leads to higher than average rainfall over a longer period of time. This led to clogged roads and unforeseen challenges for drivers. Thankfully, the father and son were saved in good health owing to the efforts of their companions and timely response by the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue at Mount Isa in Queensland.
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The Outback is a vast area of remote interior land along the coastline in Australia, known especially for how isolated it is. The land extends from the Northern to the SOuthern coastlines, encompassing a number of climatic zones that include a tropical and monsoon-like climate in the northern area, and somewhat arid and temperate climates in the south. The Outback is also considered more remote than the Bush, which becomes a challenge to navigate in times of car trouble if you are stuck.
This was the case for a party of five, who were driving through north-west Queensland in late December in 2020. BBC News reported that due to flooded roads, their car became trapped in the waterlogged road, which made matters worse as they were stuck in a highly remote part and the nearest town, Mount Isa, being at least 31 miles away. After spending the night in the car together, three of the five people decided to travel to the town to help. The two people who stayed in the car were a father and his 10-year-old son.
After setting out in the morning, the companions walked for a whopping 12 hours before they were able to reach the Mount Isa police station, where they requested help and rescue services right away. After leaving at dawn, they made it to the police station at 6 pm. Walking non-stop for so long would have been exhausting, but thanks to their efforts, the rescue team was able to know exactly where the father-son duo was stuck on a map. Speaking to ABC Australia, Mount Isa disaster management officer Acting Senior Sergeant Todd Noble said, "The three that came in were able to very clearly articulate to police by looking at a map, and point out where the car was," and added that there were some concerns about the safety for the remaining two in the car.
Mount Isa based rescue team, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue, sent out a helicopter to find the father and son shortly after the companions had reached the police station. Thankfully, both of them were found sitting on the roof of their car just before the last light of the day. Both of them were found to be in good health and high spirits, reports BBC News.
Noble told ABC Australia that the journey would have been long and difficult for the three adults that made it to Mount Isa. "It's an unmarked dirt track, I believe they were out hunting or looking for food is what I was told initially," he said. On top of the already difficult journey under normal weather conditions, the La Nina phenomenon had led to severe rain especially across north-eastern Queensland. This had bogged roads down with water and flash flooding.
"We weren't able to get any vehicles into that area, which was attempted before by some other members of the family," added Noble, which made the walk towards Mount Isa all the more challenging for the three walkers. "So it would've been quite wet, and quite an arduous journey for them, so they've done a good job." As for the father and son who were left behind, the pilot, Russell Proctor, said that they had done everything right in the situation they were in.
"They had water with them," Proctor said. In the severe Outback, this would be the biggest concern for anyone who was trapped. "Despite having to wait such a long time to be rescued, they remained with their vehicle until help arrived," he added. It would seem like the group of five were prepared for the worst-case scenario, which essentially saved their lives and helped them make the right decisions. This event sheds light on the importance of being prepared and well versed in emergency procedures. BBC News reported that neither the father-son duo nor the three companions required any medical assistance after their ordeal.
Due to the high rainfall and flooding situation, this was not the only incident that the town had seen. "This is now the third incident in 24 hours where vehicles have got stuck in floodwater," Noble told ABC Australia. He also shared a few points to note while traveling in challenging conditions such as these.
"Coming into the wet season you really need to plan your trip well, particularly if you're going on dirt roads, make sure you check...website for road closures," he elaborated. In places like Australia, where dirt roads stretch out for hundreds of miles, this advice is especially important. "The same messaging, if it's flooded forget it … and make sure your vehicles are packed with enough water, food and necessities like that so that if you do happen to get stuck you're able to sustain yourself for a while," he added. Thankfully, the group of people who were rescued knew to follow this advice before they set out.
Noble added another point to remember, "And try and remain with the vehicle … finding a vehicle is a lot easier than trying to find people walking through flood-affected areas."
A couple was stranded in a similar manner shortly after this group was safely back in town. RACQ LifeFlight Rescue performed another overnight flood rescue when a passerby noticed a broken-down car in rising floodwaters. The couple had created a makeshift campsite nearby while they waited for rescue efforts, reports ABC Australia. A rescue crew arrived at around 2:30 am and helped to push their car to safety before safely bringing the couple into another town. "They were very lucky to have someone stumble across them and call for help, given the very remote area," pilot Russell Procter told the news agency.
The Climate Council of Australia believes that La Nina will continue at least until January 2021, with rainfall continuing till maybe March this year. This may mean rainfall for much longer, but it is not thought to be as disruptive as it was almost a decade ago. We hope that people continue to remain safe during this time.
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