Searing heat kills stranded man in Australian Outback


Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - Page 5

A 25-year-old man died and another was recovering in hospital yesterday after they became stranded in the harsh Australian Outback, prompting warnings about the risks of the desert.

The pair had been on a routine morning check of a spring near Ethabuka cattle station, near the Simpson Desert in southeast Queensland state, on Monday when their four-wheel-drive vehicle became bogged on a sand dune.

As temperatures soared to 45°C and they failed to free the vehicle, the men attempted to walk the 16km.

Mauritz “Mo” Pieterse, 25, collapsed several kilometers from the station, while his 30-year-old colleague was reportedly found in a distressed state, suffering from extreme dehydration and heat exhaustion.

“When they were found, they had insufficient water supplies with them and obviously dehydration crept in very quickly,” police Inspector Paul Biggin said.

The survivor was airlifted to safety after being found by residents of a neighboring property.