Wednesday, 27 December 2006

So near and yet so far

I had heard bits of the story of the family who got stuck in snow in America but only a very small bit. The husband decided after some days with his stranded vehicle to hike out and see if he could get help. His wife and kids stayed with the car. A cell-phone engineer's tip was not heeded for two days and a hotel refused to give credit-card and cell-phone information to police in the search for the missing California dad. It is chilling to think just what was going through the minds of the lost family in those last moments. Eventually, the mother and kids were found almost by accident but the father died from hypothermia just a very short distance from salvation. As a wanderer in the sandy deserts, I was instructed to stay with vehicle in the event of any problem and to set fire to the spare tyre so as to attract attention to myself. We always carried extra water. Who the heck would imagine that those sort of survival skills would be needed on a vacation journey in one of the most advanced countries of the world.

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