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ACT Students found after night in the bush

By johnboy - 10 March 2006 82

The ABC is reporting that students and teachers from an ACT school have been found in the Deua National Park having spent a cold night out after getting lost on an abseiling trip.

Now I have to ask, how do they manage this?

They travel, at best, 6km an hour (more likely 4 kmh). They know (or should) on their maps where they started from. So when they hunker down around their map, once they lose the way, there’s a very small circle they can possibly be in.

Set a bearing to cross a road, river, or track from there and bingo, not lost any more.

So how do they get so lost the rescue services have to come out and get them at vast expense?

(Assuming, of course, that they had map, compass, and the wit to use them)

UPDATED: Richard Mulcahy is calling for EPIRB’s to be purchased for going on bushwalks. Personally the lower tech solution of not letting kids out in national parks with teachers who can’t use a map might be better. Albeit EPIRB’s are probably cheaper. Richard thinks “a couple” of them would suffice but really we’d be looking at a couple in each school right?

FURTHER UPDATE: The ABC is reporting the police have been critical of the group’s preparations. Win News tonight had the Gold Creek principle delaring a helicopter rescue was the result of everything going to plan.

What’s Your opinion?

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82 Responses to
ACT Students found after night in the bush
seepi 10:37 am 11 Mar 06

I heard they had the emergency beacon, but chose not to use it as noone was injured. so they must have thought they were doing ok til morning.

nyssa76 10:25 am 11 Mar 06

MrX(orY) I’ll use more if I like, thanks.

Got anything to contribute to the discussion?

MrX(orY) 8:41 am 11 Mar 06

Single question marks are your friend, Nyssa

nyssa76 7:17 pm 10 Mar 06

How in the hell did they get lost? Why didn’t one of the teachers know how to read a bloody map???

As a teacher, we have MANY forms to fill out re: excursion, more so for outdoor ed.

Again, what in the hell were they thinking??????
I did Duke of Edinburgh as a high school student. I still know how to use a compass and a map. FFS what in the hell were the teachers thinking by going into the bush without a clue?

Schools who do “outdoor ed” MUST have all relevant equipment i.e. if you are going in the bush you would need a map (for the teacher), compasses, extra food and water, jumper etc.

The mind boggles.

Kerces 7:07 pm 10 Mar 06

ABC news tonight said the students were from Gold Creek High and from the pictures it looked to me like the group was mostly girls — but they didn’ necessarily film all the students (note this is merely an observation; I could read a map and know which direction was home better than most people in my various outdoor ed classes).

Maelinar 2:26 pm 10 Mar 06

I wonder how far outside mobile phone range they got before they realised they were lost.

Oh that’s right, mobile phones calling emergency numbers work everywhere in Australia (it goes straight to satellite I presume).

Imagine being the teacher, without the map, without the GPS, without the compass, without a mobile phone, and completely without a clue.

I think that pretty comprehensively breaks most of the rules to do with outdoor activities in one big hit.

That said, it’s very possible that they had all of the necessary equipment, but didn’t know how to use it, well that’s another rule broken…

If this was politics, Labour would be calling for resignations and the Liberals would be throwing any children who swear too much off boats by now.

johnboy 2:26 pm 10 Mar 06

exactly jey, makes you wonder a lot as to the competence of the teachers and the safety of the kids in their care.

bonfire 12:07 pm 10 Mar 06


stop walking, light a fire and sing kum bai ya.

i cant believe they are being heloed out.

what a generation of weaklings.

how on earth does spending a cold night in the bush become newsworthy ?

Jey 12:04 pm 10 Mar 06

You think a teacher who can teach and supervise abseiling would have a bit of map and wilderness experiences

LurkerGal 11:02 am 10 Mar 06

It wasn’t a high school. It was a primary school group of year 5 students. My daughter’s friend was on the camp.

jr 10:19 am 10 Mar 06

Anybody think of a taking/using GPS they arent exactly rocket science nor expensive any more!

I’m surprised that excursions are allowed to occur without proper safety equipment such as an EBURP.

Does anyone know what the standards are for standard safety equipment for schools on excursions where they are not in an urban area?

Mr Evil 10:12 am 10 Mar 06

I hope they get charged the SAR fees.

Blossy 9:27 am 10 Mar 06

I wonder what school this was.

johnboy 9:26 am 10 Mar 06

i’m more interested in how the teachers got lost.

Kerces 9:13 am 10 Mar 06

Because a large proportion of high school aged students don’t know how to read a map. And if it was the kind of trip (as most of them are) where they get taken by the teacher and/or guide to the abseiling place, told to put their stuff here and that over there is how you get back up to the top, then they wouldn’t have had a map, let alone a compass.

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