What would you do if you bogged your car in the middle of a mud flat 60km from civilisation?
For Perth man Lachlan Marie, this was his reality after he diverted off-road at Cape Arid, around 200km east of Esperance on Western Australia’s south coast.
Mr Marie was travelling alone and hadn’t seen another person since he entered the national park. He followed tyre marks off the main track across the mudflats, assuming that the ground would be dry and solid. It was not.
‘Once I got onto it, my wheels started sinking in and getting just … stuck. I was just completely bogged’ Mr Marie told ABC News.
After trying to dig his wheels out of the mud, and badly grazing his hands in the process, he realised his car was not going to budge.
A Two Day Walk Back to Civilisation
So Mr Marie packed up his supplies into a backpack – four bottles of water, a sleeping bag, a butane stove and all the food he had left – and in the heat of the day, began the 60km walk to civilisation.
He walked for two days, camping for two nights in his sleeping bag, before finally flagging down the first car he saw, who picked him up and drove him to Esperance, where he immediately went to the local pub.
Mr Marie visited the local hospital on his Mum’s recommendation and was taken straight to emergency where he was treated for dehydration with eight litres of IV fluid and kept overnight.
ABC News spoke to Mr Marie the day after he was admitted from hospital to chat about his experience and what he learnt.
He told them,
‘Off-roading in Australia is no joke!’
You can say that again mate!
4WDing in Aus is a helluva lot of fun, but there’s a lot of potential for something to go wrong. And being so far off the beaten track, you’ll often find yourself out of reception.
Before heading off-road make sure you;
- Tell someone where you’re going
- Don’t go alone!
- Keep to formed vehicle tracks and take a solid map
- Know the limits of your vehicle and make sure it’s got the correct setup
- If you don’t know about recovery gear and tyre pressure, consider doing a course or go with some more experienced drivers. Local 4WD clubs can be good for gaining experience
- 4WD and AWD aren’t the same thing, it can be the difference on soft terrain
- Bring extra supplies for you and the car
- Take an EPIRB or satellite phone
- Make sure your 4WD is in good condition and you’re on top of maintenance.
Photos thanks to ABC News