THURSDAY 3 JULY ADELS GROVE
Before work, I tidied up the van a little, in preparation for M’s visit.
John was on canoes again, I was on tent housekeeping.
A couple of police from Mt Isa arrived in the morning, to follow up on the knife incident. They eventually established that the man with the knife was still missing.
By mid-afternoon, we were the base for a Search and Rescue operation! Personnel came from all over the Gulf region. We had never seen so many National Park Rangers – there were some there, after all!
It proved hard to get exact facts, but they seemed to conclude that the missing man may have been on a de-tox program, rather off his face from that, possibly ill too. Drinking meths may not have helped!
The mustering helicopter from Lawn Hill Station was roped into the search today. A proper search one would come tomorrow, if he was not found overnight. They had some Waanyi trackers and were talking about getting a tracker dog.
The Search and Rescue operation took over our office area. We were trying to do business as normal at the reception desk and shop counter, with official people stomping in and out, them monopolizing our phone, and to the constant background noise of their radio communications.
The drive and parking area filled up with police and search vehicles, quad bikes, with the chopper coming and going from the dirt area at the front.
The tourists were obviously really curious, and spectating, and we had to try to answer their questions about what was going on. I think we sold a lot of extra icy poles, as campers found an excuse to come and ask what it was all about.
We then had to provide accommodation for some of the searchers, and feed the whole lot. That meant extra revenue, but cook was definitely not happy.
The pilot that flew the Lawn Hill mustering helicopter was really beaten up and bent. Apparently one of his specialities was using the skids on the chopper to steer beasts the way he wanted them to go. Not the way to longevity!
B and husband had been to Mt Isa for a couple of days. It was a last minute arrangement. They returned today, with all the staff-ordered beer and wine supplies on board. Happy times for staff again.