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  1. #1
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    Default A man is missing and his wife was stranded in a vehicle for five days.

    A man is missing and his wife was stranded in a vehicle for five days.

    30 September 2011 | Anne-lize van Vuuren

    BADFONTEIN - An elderly woman was stranded in a vehicle in a dry riverbed in Botswana for five days while her husband went looking for help but has been missing since, without trace.


    Well-known farmer couple, Mr John (80) and Ms Lorraine ( 78 ) Bullen of the farm Killarney in the Badfontein area, left on Sunday September 11 for an adventurous holiday in Botswana.


    According to their daughter-in-law, Ms Estelle Bullen, the couple spent the first night in Francistown from where they departed to Kasana the next day.


    On Tuesday they entered the Chobe Game Reserve to overnight at the picturesque Savuti Camp. En route to their destination, they decided to stop at a camp they’d visited many years previously. Much to their disappointment they found it had closed down but was manned by locals with firefighter protection units. The Bullens was advised to continue on the road, which was a shortcut to Savuti, but they got horribly lost. On Tuesday afternoon their Land Rover Discovery got stuck in the sand of a dry riverbed. Many attempts to remove the sand and put logs under the wheels to get out of the nasty situation, failed. No vehicles passed them during their struggle.

    "Dad decided late on Wednesday afternoon to start walking and find help. He took his axe, five litres of water, a bag with food and other essentials. He also took the GPS with him to guide him back to the previous camp where they had stopped. He had to walk 37 km for assistance.


    "Mom stayed behind in the Land Rover waiting for him. The area is alive with predators and wild animals. She left the safety of the vehicle's cabin only when necessary."


    Without a radio signal, she spent her time waiting and praying for her husband’s safe return. She had food and only five litres of water which she had to use sparingly. It was very dry and hot at the time. "Mom also recalls sitting in the vehicle looking at the dense vegetation and the stone-henge hills. "Great was God's mercy, as the park is known as the area with the densest elephant population in the world and yet no elephant or other animals disturbed her while she was stuck in the elephant pathway. On the Monday afternoon, she had only 500ml of water left for the next day. "At sunset a vehicle with Dutch tourists found her at the Land Rover. Apparently they had driven the same route and also got lost. One of the tourists was a fireman, who managed to pull the stranded vehicle out of the sand. They took mom to safety at the nearest military base. Mom reported dad's disappearance to the police and we were also notified of the situation. She was taken to Kasane on Tuesday," explains Estelle. Mr Mike Bullen, their son, left for Botswana to assist his mother.


    Major search parties were deployed from the Botswana Army, Police, anti-poaching units and Wildlife Society. Apparently the aerial search was called off on Saturday night, after they covered 50 000 km and found no trace of the missing man.

    "According to the Botswana statistics, dad is the ninth person in three years to disappear without a trace in the Savuti area. The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the Botswana authorities for their effort in this very intensive search. "We thank each and every one for their prayers, moral support, telephone calls and SMSes," concluded Bullen.


    He brought his mother back to Lydenburg. The foot patrol continues to search indefinitely. At the time of going to press, he has not been found.

    --

  2. #2
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    That is so sad.

    I cant even imagine what the lady went thru five days alone.

    Do you know if they used trackers at all.

    I guess this makes a case for Sat Phones ??
    Cheers

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  3. #3
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    Ai, dis sad. Kan my net indink wat in 5 dae aangegaan in die tannie se kop. Sterkte!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    I guess this makes a case for Sat Phones ??
    Yes, but we should also learn from it:
    1. To rather stay where you get stuck.
    2. And to do proper recovery training.
    3. Or travel in a group

    It must be a terrible experience. Good luck to the family
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  5. #5
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    Dit is werklik tragies.

    As ek na hulle ouderdomme kyk wonder ek net of hulle alleen moes wees.

    'n Tagtigjarige solank in die bos ....... laat ons maar bid en hoop.

  6. #6
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    My condolences to the family.
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  7. #7
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    I would be interested to find out exactly where they were. The Savuti area isn't exactly quiet at this time of year. No doubt details will emerge later.

    Hope for the best



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  8. #8
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    Dit is jammer so iets gebeur. Dit moes 'n ongelooflike traumatiese ondervinding gewees het.

    Lesse wat ons kan leer uit hulle reis:- moenie alleen op so 'n hoe ouderdom gaan nie. - indien kry vir jou reisgenote.

    Nie sonder 'n SAT foon nie. As jy nie kan koop nie, huur een vir jou veiligheid.

    Vat genoeg water saam.

    Jy loop nie in 'n wildtuin rond nie. Nie eens as jy jonk is nie.

    Maar, dit is vir my 'n ongeluk , ek het baie simpatie met hulle. Jammer vir jul verlies.
    Last edited by witklipbank; 2011/10/03 at 05:56 PM.
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  9. #9
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    wow, words fail me. Very sad. condolences and thoughts go out to the family.

    But as mentioned above, should they have been alone etc...
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  10. #10
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    I hope he is found soon, alive.

    It sounds if they went to Ngotsaa, only camp that I know of that existed many years ago and was closed down. Very, very remote and not a well travelled route unlike the Savuti - Kachicau road.
    Christa

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  11. #11
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    Ek voel om te huil as ek dit lees.
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  12. #12
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    An 80year old man, last days spend in the bush, last moments spend fighting with a lion. Not the worst way to go.

    Condolences to the family.
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  13. #13
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    medeleie vir die familie.

    tragies.

  14. #14
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    Ek het so paar jaar gelede tussen mboma island en souh-gate n stappie gevat(voor daar so baie touriste was)..My voertuig se elektriese drade het gebrand,dit is regtig nie n goeie ervaring gewees nie..as jy nie die area goed ken nie en ook nie die gedrag van diere kan uitken nie..Is dit beter om by jou voertuig te bly..Toer altyd met teminste nog een voertuig saam..

    Kom ons hoop maar vir die beste...Sterke aan julle!!

  15. #15
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    Yes truly a sad story.

    My dad phoned me a while ago asking me about the area and what the possibility would be for a perssn to survive after 8 nights lost in the bush....He explained in some detail what happened and I said well the family should try and make peace with the fact that their oupa / ex father in law would not be alive anymore.

    Oom John is my father's new wife's ex father in law and my halfsister's oupa.

    I think the worst part for the family is not knowing how and by what he was taken from this world but still they hope that just maybe he is still alive...

    As mentioned above a good couple of lessons are learnt by all.

    On the bright side they find warmth in the fact that he had a long & good life.

    Rus in vrede ou grote!

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  16. #16
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    Geraas - dra ons simpatie asseblief oor.

    Dit is nie lekker nie. Maar, hy het gedoen wat hy gedink het die beste is. Immers het hy en sy vrou wonderlike jare gehad. Ek kan net hoop om eendag 80 te word en nog die energie en gesondheid te he om vakansie te gaan hou.

    Baie sterkte aan jul familie.
    Elize
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  17. #17
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    Not a good outcome from a trip they longed for.
    Condolences to the family, hope and pray no-one has to go through that experience. I guess the worst is all the "what if's" and the not knowing. Can not even imagine being in such a position.

    My prayers go to the family and relatives.

  18. #18
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    Default Geraas

    Probeer om die oom te plaas. In ons omgewing te Messina was daar Bullens wat die plaas Tovey Gehad het. Wil net graag weet of dit moontlik hulle was? Die oom was n langerige man wat pyp gerook het daardie jare.
    Die grond is baie jare gelede verkoop.
    Sterkte en innige simpatie met sy familie en vriende met die verlies
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  19. #19
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    Ons voel saam met julle.

    ....en al die vinger wysers...is dit nou rerig nodig. Dink julle nie die mense het al klaar genoeg hartseer nie.
    Sakkie Coetzee

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  20. #20
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    My innigste simpatie met hierdie mense. Dis so maklik om te se - hulle moes nie alleen gewees het nie, maar wat maak jy as jy drome het, maar niemand om dit mee te deel nie. Dan leef jy maar hierdie drome alleen uit. Dis wat ons ook maar doen.
    "If you don't care where you are, you ain't lost"

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