Outback death a reminder of remote travel dangers

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man dies after getting bogged in Central Australia
Mr Shin's body was found on Sunday. PIC: ABC / Xavier Martin)

As temperatures soar around the country, the death of a man in Central Australia has served as a brutal reminder of the potential dangers posed by travel in remote areas.

Alice Springs café worker Yun-Seob Shin died near a campground at Finke Gorge National Park, 140 kilometres west of Alice Springs, after his vehicle became bogged in a dry riverbed.

A search was launched for Mr Shin after he failed to turn up for his shift on Saturday and his body was located the following day.

Sergeant Philip Emmett, who coordinated the rescue operation, told the ABC that the man was driving an all-wheel drive White Nissan X-Trail.

“I don’t think that was a suitable vehicle to make his trip in there,” he said. “I don’t know that he was very well aware of the route and how hard it would be.”

The route to Boggy Hole is a notoriously challenging four-wheel drive track that includes stretches through the Finke River bed.

Police said it appeared that Mr Shin had run out of water

Sergeant Emmett said it was important that people hoping to camp in remote areas speak to people with local knowledge about their destinations.

“Speak to a few locals that might have an idea of it and if needed source a four-wheel drive,” he said. “First and foremost, give the time of year very serious consideration.”

The ABC reports that, on Friday, temperatures in the area soared to 41 degrees, and on Saturday, 43 degrees.

“Currently, the whole of Australia is in the grips of a very serious heatwave, so I’d suggest to anyone that was thinking about doing it at this time of year, go find a pool to go sit next to,” said Sergeant Emmett. “Make sure your preparations are right, make sure that you carry plenty of water, excess water and equipment to get you out of a bog if you do get stuck.”

In 2017, German tourists 75-year-old Wilfried Thor and 73-year-old Gisela Thor died bushwalking at Trephina Gorge on a 39.9 degree day in Central Australia.

In 2018, a 33-year-old American tourist died after getting lost on the Larapinta Trail in 42-degree heat.

Mr Shin, who was 37, had come to Australia from South Korea seven years ago. A report on his death will be prepared for the coroner.

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