Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Tragedy that could have been AVOIDED


Today there is a report in the paper about a group of three people who did something so unbelievably foolish. They were in outback NSW and had a crash. It is November and getting very warm during the days but still very cold at nights in some of the desert areas out near Broken Hill.
The first thing they did wrong was to leave their car. One wonders if they had enough water on board as well.
I used to travel with my son who was a baby at the time to see my mother in Charleville. It was a long trip. We used to go up through Griffith to Hillston on the Kidman Highway through Cobar, Bourke and on to Cunnamulla, Wyandra and then finally to Charleville. It was a long and tiring trip but I did it despite the expense (I can no longer afford to see my mother since I have been out of work for years) because my mother did enjoy our visits I did think.
However some tips for travelling.
I always made sure I had two twenty five litre containers of water and a fuel container with a spare fan belt and spare oil. You do not travel those roads unprepared. Have a recent road map on board, a phone charger that works. If there is an accident and you do not know where you are and there is no reception you are in big trouble. However, what many people do is keep friends or the police in the next town notified of their location. If you make an arrangement to check in with a friend or two every couple of hours then it is easier for the SES to locate you. For example, ring when you start out in the morning or sms this rellie or friend and check in again at lunch time or around 12 noon and then again at say 3pm and when you finish driving for the day. If something happens, DON'T leave your bloody car. It may be the only shade you have and you should be carrying spare water for a couple of days at least.
The Barrier Highway to Wilcannia and Broken Hill is even more isolated than the road between Hillson and Cobar.
When you are tired, you rest. I used to rest every couple of hours but still had an accident one trip when a front tire blew out just over the border into Queensland. I had just had a break of an hour or so at the truck stop just below the border in NSW at Barringun. I was tired as we had only another 125 kms to Cunnamulla and I was thinking to drop in and see my Aunt who was the Nursing Supervisor there and stay over night with her before continuing on to Charleville another 200 kms north.
As it was I did not handle the blowout of the tire despite it happening when I was only going 80 kms an hour and the car over turned. I used to be a bit of a speed hog before my child was born. It's funny how having a kid changes your perceptions on what is acceptable. I used to think that doing 140 on the back roads of the country, even dirt tracks was ok because there were no other cars around and you would only kill yourself, no loss to the world I used to think.
All that changed when I had a child to look after as well as myself. His needs come before mine. They still do. Your children are the reason we are put in this world. Yes, I agree some who choose to be or do not choose to be childless do have other missions to fulfil in the world. All who are wanting children badly and have the means to support and give them loving homes and raise them to be good people, honest people and compassionate people, G-D should bless them in revealed ways.

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