Aussie Lost In the Jungle Survivor

DavidFL

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Jan 16, 2003
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Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
Apologies again for this one, non motorcycle related report, but I find it an incredible story. Tad Sanam waterfall is only a couple of kms off the main road!

http://www.ngcasia.com/explore/longwayd ... sodes.aspx
This is a large twin waterfall cascading off the sandstone massif of Phou Phaman Mountain. It flows all year round and is surrounded by a Provincial Protected Area with pristine tropical forest. The path from the road follows the river for about 1.5km through semi-evergreen forest and ends at the falls. This waterfall is easily accessible by walking from Khoun Kham Village (also known as Ban Na Hin) on Route 8.
The original news report I saw
2008-0819 - The Australian - Aussie alive after 11 days in jungle

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/st ... 35,00.html

August 19, 2008 06:44pm AEST

AN Australian man missing for 11 days in the jungle of Khammuan province in Laos has been found alive, but is in a critical condition.

The Vientiane Times has reported that the middle-aged man was transported to Bangkok for treatment, but remains critically ill.

Australian Ambassador to Laos, Dr Michele Forster, told that the man was attempting to walk to the well-known Tadsanam waterfall in Hinboun district.

He left on the afternoon of July 31, but the Australian embassy was not notified he was missing until August 8.
On Sunday, the embassy and the Red Cross organised a helicopter search and located the man at a different waterfall in the district.
"At the time, it was raining in the village, quite cold and the conditions were every difficult,'' Dr Forster said.
"The village community and local government had done a lot to try to find him but they had been unable to locate him.''

The helicopter could not land in the jungle and the man had to be carried out over land.
It took villagers almost four hours to transport the man on a stretcher, cutting their way through the jungle.
"When they found him his condition wasn't good. He was very weak and sick and obviously cold because he had been exposed to the cool weather over the last few days,'' Dr Forster said.

The man was brought back to the local village and transported to Vientiane by helicopter, before being taken by ambulance to a hospital in Undon Thani, Thailand, and then later transported to Bangkok.

Australian Embassy Second Secretary, Emily Russell, said the area contained thick jungle and it was easy to become lost. She said rising water may have covered the main track in the area, causing the man to lose his way.

Khammuan Tourism Department director, Thaiyaphone Singthong, said the waterfall was a beautiful and well-known site which attracted a lot of visitors, including foreign tourists.

Mr Thaiyaphone said he thought the man may have wanted to go upstream from Tadsanam waterfall, but was warned against doing this.

Dr Forster said the embassy planned to support a small tourist development office with guides to lead treks to the waterfall and the surrounding jungle.

"We will be looking at different ways to support the community, particularly the office, in terms of possibly putting up signs or providing training to the local guides to thank them for all their help,'' Dr Forster said.
"We feel deep gratitude to the local villagers and authorities that assisted us.'
The latest news report

http://www.watoday.com.au/world/wild-animals-maggots-attack-australian-lost-in-laos-20080826-42zt.html

An Australian man who survived a harrowing 11 days missing in the jungle in Laos had terrible injuries inflicted by wild animals and an infestation of maggots, his mother says.

Hayden Adcock, 40, is recovering in a Thai hospital following his ordeal, with medical staff saying his condition has improved slightly since yesterday.

Hayden suffered multiple health problems after he went missing on a short walk to a waterfall in a national park in the Khammouane province of Laos on July 31.

A helicopter search found him on August 10 and he was airlifted to hospital in Bangkok.

His mother, Lynne Sturrock, who is with her son, said Hayden was badly injured when he was rescued.

"He came upon a beautiful escarpment of coloured rocks, something he hadn't seen before and went over to have a look, maybe strayed off the track a bit, and some huge lizards came out," she told the Nine Network today.

The lizards chased him, and he was injured when he fell from the escarpment, becoming prey to local wildlife, she said.

"Wild animals had attacked him and he was covered in wounds," she said.

"... Flies had bitten him. He ended up with maggots in his wounds, which is a good thing, people are saying, but they ended up laying eggs in the good layers of the skin as well."

His 78-year-old father Stan Adcock, who lives at Yandina on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, said medicos administered an injection last night to stop Hayden's internal bleeding, and it appeared to be working.

Michael Morton, an Australian doctor working at the hospital where Hayden was being treated, emailed Mr Adcock to say he had seen his son this morning and he was "conscious, alert and responding well".

"He has several medical problems all interacting with each other and has a long way to go," Dr Morton wrote.

"Both he and Lynne are very happy with the care he is receiving and the Australian embassy has been very supportive."

Mr Adcock said he was encouraged by the overnight development after bleeding in Hayden's stomach had caused him to take a turn for the worse on Sunday night.

"It's better news today because it's been a couple of terrible days," Mr Adcock said today.

"I'd almost given up hope for him."

If the injection did its job, surgeons at the Bangkok hospital would not have to operate.

This was something they had been reluctant to do, given his significant weight loss, multiple health problems and weakened condition.
An incredible story of survival

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/08/22/2343423.htm?section=justin
The experienced bushwalker had started out on a short walk to the Tad Nam Sanam waterfalls in the eastern province of Khammouane on July 31.

But his trek turned into a marathon and unexpected stay after torrential rain washed away the tracks he was following.

He lost half his body weight and contracted pneumonia.

Earlier this week, a nurse at the Bangkok hospital where Mr Adcock is undergoing treatment, said he was suffering from sepsis, or blood poisoning, and skin infections from the many scrapes and cuts he received during his ordeal.

Stan Adcock, from Queensland's Sunshine Coast, says he has spoken to his son by phone.

"His fighting spirit is absolutely incredible," he said.

"I don't know how he's alive and neither does anybody else.

"I mean lying on your back after not eating and being in the pouring rain for so many days - how he was able to keep his mind alert and stay alive is absolutely incredible."

He says rescuers initially looked in the wrong place for his son.

"The helicopter discovered that he was at the second waterfall and then the ground crews had to go in and find him and this is where the guy from the Australian embassy phoned and told me that he'd left rock piles and messages showing who he was and the direction in which he was walking," he said.
What a fighter & survivor...
http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/jungle-aussie-in-horrible-lizard-chase/2008/08/27/1219516528229.html
Ms Sturrock said her son was admitted to hospital in Bangkok in a delirious state with an ulcerated stomach and oesophagus, wounds all over his body, pneumonia, kidney failure, a body temperature of 25 degrees and low blood pressure.
 

jimoi

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Nov 17, 2004
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It should be noted that this man decided against taking a local guide on his trek. If he was only going to the first waterfall, no problem but he wanted to get to the second which is quite a distance away from the one nearest the road. Local reports indicate he was suggested to take a local guide ( I think they cost about US $ 3) and he declined.

When you ignore the advice from Locals because you know better, it's a risk you take. I've mercy and sympathy for the plight of the tourist but at the same time this was happening, major parts of Laos were flooded or under threat of flood. His article made the papers and internet but the hundreds of people who lost or had their homes and businesses damaged extensively during the lost Aussie boy's adventure didn't make the news. I'm sure the 10,000 plus USD spent to rescue the lost man was worth it. Perspective.
 

Moto-Rex

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Jan 5, 2008
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The lizards chased him, and he was injured when he fell from the escarpment, becoming prey to local wildlife, she said.

"Wild animals had attacked him and he was covered in wounds," she said
.

I would be interested to know from Jimoi, David or anyone for that matter, just what type of wild animals lurk in the Lao jungle that would attack a bloke minding he’s own business, in particular the size and aggressiveness the lizards.

CRIKEY. :shock:
 

SilverhawkUSA

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Mar 15, 2003
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www.daveearly.com
Moto-Rex wrote:
The lizards chased him, and he was injured when he fell from the escarpment, becoming prey to local wildlife, she said.

"Wild animals had attacked him and he was covered in wounds," she said
.

I would be interested to know from Jimoi, David or anyone for that matter, just what type of wild animals lurk in the Lao jungle that would attack a bloke minding he’s own business, in particular the size and aggressiveness the lizards.

CRIKEY. :shock:
Yeah, I was a little surprised no one questioned this before. I have never seen anything that threatening in my times in the jungle, but then again, I guess walking a long distance may be quite different from riding. :?
 

jimoi

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Nov 17, 2004
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Lions and Tigers and Bears - Oh My!
Now maybe in Lak Xao where there are those 2 legged lizards but perhaps he had a flashback due to drugs from years ago and, well you know. Chased by lizards, yeah right.

I'd say the biggest problem would have been the wild monkey population, the big size geckos, snakes and on the off chance, a dog. Then again, the scent of death on any animal big or small brings out the natural cleaners of the world to have a bite and keep eco-adventures just that.

I looked over some notes of mine for that area and have a check on mobile coverage at the first waterfall, not so sure about the second but it is a higher elevation.

I'd say if local wildlife was nibbling at this unfortunate fellow, he should have been able to bite back and enjoy local flavors. This should make a good made for TV movie, my cat will audition for the local wildlife position, he's pretty fierce.
tn_Monkey_on_my_back.JPG
 

Poompui

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Nov 12, 2013
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His story,as dramatised by the ABC .......

Old news,but I wonder how many people know how easy it is to walk off a trail and be lost within minutes?
Did it when I was a kid,but was lucky to find another trail which led me back to our campsite.
 

brian_bkk

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Mar 30, 2010
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Thanks for bringing this thread up.. Had never seen it before.

Will watch the Youtube clip tonight.

It is rather funny isn't it.. How the you go from ABC (Gov't owned) slightly sensational reporting.
To Sydney Morning Herald... Fairfax media, sensational as you can get reporting to sell papers..

If we read the quote from the nurse.. Looks about right.. The rest... the more a story is told.. The bigger it gets..

"Earlier this week, a nurse at the Bangkok hospital where Mr Adcock is undergoing treatment, said he was suffering from sepsis, or blood poisoning, and skin infections from the many scrapes and cuts he received during his ordeal. "
 

brian_bkk

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Mar 30, 2010
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Good find Poompui.

Just watched the hour long dramatisation.
Certainly got himself in to trouble.

Good to see the Australian Ambassador show appreciation and recognition for the effort of the Lao villages.
Carrying him out on a stretcher down the steep ravine.. Also actual footage from the rescue in the video.

Cheers
Brian
 

ianyonok

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Dec 9, 2008
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Interesting story.

Years ago, I got completely lost in Kao Yai National Park, for about an hour. Usual story, path gets smaller till it disappears. Yes, very easy.....
I came across a fair size bear which made me stop and wait a while. But then he ran off when he saw me.
In Phu Luang National Park, Loei, camping is not allowed due to the 300 approx wild elephants.
 

Poompui

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Nov 12, 2013
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Just wondering,here in Oz we can call in an emergency 112 on our mobile phone and it will pick up the signal from any mobile tower...no matter which phone company you have your service with.Anybody know if this is the case in Thailand/Laos too?
Be handy to know if you get into trouble,as I know a few guys who ride alone in isolated areas.
Hoping to be one of them soon....
:happy4: :)
 

TonyBKK

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Dec 27, 2007
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brian_bkk;299023 wrote: Good find Poompui.

Just watched the hour long dramatisation.
Certainly got himself in to trouble.

Good to see the Australian Ambassador show appreciation and recognition for the effort of the Lao villages.
Carrying him out on a stretcher down the steep ravine.. Also actual footage from the rescue in the video.

Cheers
Brian
Just watched the show about this fellows ordeal- wow, he's so lucky to be alive!

Talk about wandering into the jungle unprepared! No food, no knife, no poncho, no lighter, no nothing!

A heartwarming tale of survival and a good reminder to take some basic precautions and carry some basic gear before you wander off in the jungle alone.

And mad respect to the Aussie embassy without which this fellow would never have been found. If this happened to me I'm pretty sure the US embassy wouldn't do a thing...