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Recon turns into recovery
Story by Heath Bunting
While on a recon mission for an upcoming 4WD course on Sunday, Balmoral Group Officer Phil O’Keefe and Brigade Administration Support Officer Heath Bunting found themselves on a recovery mission.
Heading along the Henty Highway, Horsham bound in Woohlpooer, the pair came across two young lads waving to passers-by on the highway.
Noticing the two men and deciding that they were more than likely in a spot of bother, Phil and Heath decided to turn around and see what the problem was.
The two men had spent the night out in the middle of nowhere and walked an hour and a half to the highway to get help, after bogging there vehicle deep into the bush.
Not one to shy away from helping others, Phil told the two men to jump in the Field Command Vehicle (FCV) and they headed into the bush.
After a fairly wet and challenging trek in, they finally came to where the car was left overnight.
With the car bogged down to the diff in the front end of the Mazda BT50 and time getting away, Phil swung into action.
“Righto,” Phil said to the owner of the Mazda, “this is what we are going to do.”
“I’ll turn my car around and we will try ‘snatching’ you out first,” he said.
“Yep, no worries,” Josh, the owner of the Mazda, said.
So Phil, also a qualified driving instructor, walked the area he planned on turning around on, before moving his FCV.
Although this was normal practice for 4WD enthusiasts, it did not do Phil and his trusty FCV any good this time!
“Whoops,” Heath said when Phil sunk to his wheel guards and side steps.
With Josh now thinking he will never get home for dinner, he lowered his head as Phil got out of the FCV and looked at his demise.
Phil did however pick the perfect spot to sink, as there was a big gum tree right in front of him. This allowed Phil to winch himself out and back onto the track.
Although still facing the wrong way, Phil decided to try the same technique again and winch the Mazda out.
After anchoring himself to the gum tree previously used and hooking up the Mazda, success was achieved an hour and a half after coming across Josh and his mate.
Phil would like to point out to all 4WD enthusiasts, the Scouts got it right - “be prepared”.