‘We didn’t mean to worry our son … or spark a huge Outback search!’

Grey nomad Chrissy Scarvell recalls the time she and her husband unwittingly became the subject of a huge police search … while they were happily camping behind some sand hills!

A couple of years back the Other Half and myself were travelling around ‘remote’ areas. Now, we were seasoned and sensible travellers. We were in contact with our son, a serving member of the ADF, via mobile phone and email.

When we knew we were going to be out of range we advised him of our proposed route and time.  All good! Off we went, only to get mixed up with some classic car rally which made enjoyable travel for us nearly impossible due to the frantic pace of the competitors and support vehicles.

It was also becoming dangerous.

We decided to pull up, pitch our tent behind some nice sand hills and let them all go their merry way. This added three days to our itinerary … not much in the big scheme of things.

We reached Innamincka (following yet another delay after stopping to assist a support car which had broken down) only to have to queue up with all the classic cars and support groups to use any facilities including the only public telephone!

After a few hours of patiently waiting our turn came to make our call.  Our son was relieved to hear from us and said he would now contact the South Australia police and call off the search!

He had used his map reading skills to triangulate where we might be and had passed all this info to the police.

Of course, we were mortified that he was so concerned for our safety that he felt the need to report us missing.  When we phoned him later that night he reassured us he had called the police search off, saying they were thankful we had turned up and it was better to be safe than sorry.

All’s well that ends well.

He gave us a lovely satellite phone for Christmas that year and we carry it on EVERY trip we take.

  • Have you ever inadvertently scared loved ones at home by not making contact when they expected. Email us here to share.






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