Saturday, November 1, 2014

Australia: Large Number of Injuries Reported on Frazer Island Convoys

According to The Courier Mail and the below link:

…The female driver of a 4x4 that rolled over on Fraser Island, killing a passenger, had been attempting to overtake another vehicle, police theorize.
Jade Fox, a 22-year-old female British backpacker, was killed when the Landcruiser flipped on a straight section of a gravel road that had a 50km/hr speed limit.
It is believed that Fox was not wearing a seatbelt and hit her head when the accident happened just kilometers from the barge at Hook Point on Friday afternoon (October 31).
The vehicle was part of a convoy of three 4WDs on a convoy tour operated by the Rainbow Beach Adventure Company.
Tributes flowed for Ms Fox yesterday, as people remembered her sense of humor. 
Bryony MacLeod tweeted: “RIP Jade, you’ll be missed by all who had the pleasure to know you and experience the light, humor and love you (brought) to one’s life.”
Steven Maverick Sims added: “RIP Jade Fox. Happiest go lucky smiling girl I knew from my 3 months back in Brados. Unbelievable still that she's gone!”
Fellow travelers said the female backpacker driving the vehicle was “young and inexperienced” with four-wheel-driving.
Injured tourists are airlifted from Fraser Island. Pic: RACQ CareFlight
Injured tourists are airlifted from Fraser Island. Pic: RACQ CareFlight
COMMENT: Seven of the eight people in the car received minor injuries, including two of Fox’s close friends who had been traveling together on a holiday of a lifetime in Australia.
One of them, with her arm in a sling, was being comforted yesterday by friends at Dingo’s Hostel at Rainbow Beach as she boarded a bus to Brisbane.
Fraser Island resident and first aid responder David Anderson said he attempted to resuscitate Fox, but failed to be successful.
“Two companions of the girl who died were visibly upset,” said Anderson. “They had six months to go on their Australian trip and they were saying they wanted to go home. They were just too upset to go on anymore.”
The fatality is believed to be the first involving a backpacker on Fraser Island since rules were introduced in 2010 making it mandatory for backpackers to travel with convoys.
Convoys of about four cars driven by backpackers must follow a lead car operated by an experienced tour guide.

Jabiru Swamp, Fraser Island

The changes followed a run of backpacker fatalities linked to inexperience with 4x4 driving, especially on soft sand.
Two English backpackers told THE SUNDAY MAIL some of the young travelers driving in the convoy on the beach had been acting “gung-ho."
“I actually felt quite scared because they weren’t being safe so I asked to move cars to the lead,” one backpacker said. “I didn’t like the way the driver in our car was behaving.”
Eco-tourism operator Wade Batty called for the tag-along sector to be “shut down” to prevent “any more blood on the beach."
Batty, from The Discovery Group, wrote to Transport Minister Scott Emerson and Steve Dickson MP last year challenging the safety of 4x4 tours  operating on Fraser Island. Batty questioned whether they were receiving the same checks required of other commercial operators.
Batty received a government response, which said operator accreditation and driver authorization only applied to the lead vehicle and not to any self-driven vehicles.
Apparently the Australian government underestimated the risk.

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