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Thread: Australian adventurer???

  1. #1

    Default Australian adventurer???

    Reading the ADN this morning, I saw the article about the Aussie that headed North out of Bettles for the WInter. If the reports are accurate, this guy is really a piece of work.I don't mean this in a positive way.

    I have to defend the rest of the Australians I have met in the outback of Australia. I had the pleasure of riding my motorcycle around Australia over two of our Winters. I met a lot of great people in the "Outback". Having Alaska plates on my motorcycle, people never let me buy my own beer in the local pubs. They really related to our Alaskan existance and independance. My guess is that if you polled the "Outback Aussies" about this guy they just rescued North of Bettles, they would have left him and chalked it up to a Darwin award. At the very least, he would have to pay back all rescue cost.

    Don't judge most Aussies by this guy. My 2 cents.

  2. #2
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    I wonder about the common sense quotient of some of our visitors.....remember the lady who climbed into the polar bear cage at the Alaska Zoo??

    I wonder how a "pay for rescue" system would work?? Would the coast guard check your bank balance before they went out or what?? A controlled environment like Mt. McKinley works for a pre paid fee system but not sure how it could be done elsewhere.

    Interesting topic.......I don't mind the cost of rescue for people who are caught in unforseeable situations - rogue wave, earthquake, failure of well maintained equipment etc, -but am annoyed at having to pay for the rescues needed for people who are just plain not prepared for what they try and do.

  3. #3
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    The interviewed the owner of the Bettles Lodge on the Bob and Mark Show yesterday about the guy. Turns out he got a room with a hot-tub all to himself while the military guys had to double up in lesser rooms. Then the guy had the nerve to complain about no internet. The Lodge owner didn't have much nice to say..but she did donate a trip for two to their lodge to support Toys for Tots

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    What I find most disturbing about this story is that the Aussie in question has denied all the negative complaints about him from those who were cited in the newspaper. From his side... he was never told to return to Fairbanks to get better gear, he tried to self rescue for a week before finally activating his PLB, he wasn't told he was unprepared, he asked if they had internet service, but didn't complain about the lack of it. His biggest mistakes seem to be buying crappy chinese boots and not fully realizing the difficulty of his chosen route.

    The "rescue" costs are pretty much irrelevant because it all comes out of the CG training budget. If they didn't spend the money picking him up, they would have spent it "simulating" that they were picking someone up. Actually picking someone up is much better training that any simulation.

    So, now that I've laid out his side of the story (just to be fair) I'll end it with this... the guy is an idiot for thinking he could walk the Brooks Range in the winter.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    the guy is an idiot for thinking he could walk the Brooks Range in the winter.
    Agreed. I am planning an early/mid Sept float on the Alatna with a 5 day side trip up into the Arrigetch Peaks. With very little planning, I found out that most bush flights in that area knock off by mid Sept. Sounds like the guy in question should have done more research to say the very least.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Sad thing about being in the CG or AANG is you can't have one of those plaques on your desk that says "Lack of proper planning on your part does not neccessarily constitute an emergency on my part".
    So since the guys message went thru Texas & was relayed to state authorities was he using SPOT?
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    The "rescue" costs are pretty much irrelevant because it all comes out of the CG training budget. If they didn't spend the money picking him up, they would have spent it "simulating" that they were picking someone up. Actually picking someone up is much better training that any simulation.
    Which is a good point.

    By some accounts, the Rescue Squadron (the 210th) here is the most active in the military with "actual" rescues. Because of that the Air Force and Air Guard used to rotate pararescue jumpers from other units here to get "real world" experience. I'm not sure if that's still the practice with OIF and OEF going on.

    As for whether this guys was an idiot or not, I have no real opinion.
    I will point out that 10 years or so ago, one of the most elite, highest trained units in the military, a SEAL Team, had to be rescued (out of the Chugach if I remember correctly) by the 210th because they were not prepared for the environment and were ill prepared for what they encountered in training that winter.

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    Member ken210's Avatar
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    The 210th has highly trained personnel for SAR. Operating in the harsh conditions in Alaska helps them on deployments. And it is true other pararescue units sends members up here to help the with training that they couldn't get down in the lower 48.

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