Rescued Backpacker Uses GPS Tracker
Jamie Neale, a 19-year-old British backpacker who was lost in what is known as the “Australian Bush” outside the town of Blue Mountain for 12 days, has decided to make another adventure to the area where he became lost, but this time he will be taking a GPS tracking system. “I have always had a great sense and feel for direction, unfortunately I used bad maps and it resulted in my getting lost”, stated Neale. Even though Neale may have a good sense of direction, what he did not have was a real time GPS tracking system in his equipment when he became lost, resulting in rescuers having to spend over $100,000 on search efforts to find and recover Neale.
Neale, an avid outdoor enthusiast and adventurer, was forced to eat weeds and a variety of seeds during the 12 days he was missing, trying to survive and endure the rugged Australian terrain where temperatures would routinely drop below freezing levels.
GPS Tracking System Does Not Halt Controversy
Even though Neale will be taking advantage of state-of-the-art GPS tracking system technology on his second adventure into the Australian Bush, he has not been able to avoid controversy. Many people are upset with Neale, not only because he went into an extremely tough area to adventure through without a hiking GPS tracking system, but because he has been capitalizing on the story, getting paid in six-digit figures while the rescuers who spent days searching for him are stuck with the $100,000 search bill. The British public holds a negative view about Neale because of the circumstances surrounding the rescue, such as him hiring a publicist and trying to sell his story before he even left the hospital he was recovering at.
Although Neale has received financial compensation that is estimated over $200,000, many people are upset that he did not pay the bill for the rescuers service.
Neale has donated over $15,000 of his own money to organizations that include the SES.
Should authorities make Neale pay the bill for rescue services?
Should all hikers and backpackers be mandated to check-in with officials and take a GPS tracking system on any adventure before entering the Australian Bush?