World news – AU – Three deaths in three days near remote settlement deep in WA outback


Three people have died in three days near a remote settlement deep in the Western Australian outback, police say.

Midwest Gascoyne Superintendent Roger Beer said a man’s body was found by hikers on the Mount Augustus summit walking trail, about 45 minutes from the parking area, at 7:30am today.

« The alarm was raised and inquiries led us to be believe that he was likely to be travelling with a partner, a woman, » Superintendent Beer said.

Superintendent Beer said walkers joined with police and other emergency services in a search for the missing woman before her body was found today.

« What is particularly tragic is that this follows two days after the death of a 53-year-old woman, also while she was hiking at Mount Augustus, » he said.

Superintendent Beer said it appeared in both cases one partner may have been trying to get help for the other.

« I am not a medical expert, but my understanding is that conditions up there are likely to bring forward dehydration, and people can collapse, » he said.

« What’s probably occurred perhaps in both these cases is that one of the partners has gone for help and unfortunately both have subsequently died. »

The Department of Parks and Wildlife warns the risk from exposure and dehydration are significant, with temperatures topping 40 degrees Celsius in summer.

On its website, the department urges tourists to walk in groups of three or more, to tell someone trusted and reliable about your detailed plans, and states that each person must carry and drink three to four litres of water each day of walking.

Mt Augustus, known as Burringurrah by the local Wajarri Aboriginal people, is known as the largest monolith in Australia.

It is 465 kilometres from the Gascoyne town of Carnarvon and a two-day drive from Perth.

Superintendent Beer said it was one of the most remote parts of the state and he urged visitors to be prepared and always carry water.

« I have been travelling myself in the last few weeks and I just cannot believe the number of people out on the road, caravans, camper trailers and rooftop tents.

« It is clear that the conditions that COVID has left us in are increasing the numbers that we have holidaying in the state, particularly in the north and the Midwest and Gascoyne.

« People need to be in reasonable physical condition, of course, but they also need to read signs and listen to advice. »

This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced.

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)



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