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Author Topic: Bike Tour through Lesotho goes horribly wrong  (Read 21367 times)

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Online Gerrard

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Re: Bike Tour through Lesotho goes horribly wrong
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2017, 05:49:08 pm »
So what was the pre-existing condition. If they using it as an excuse they should know.
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Offline Noneking

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Re: Bike Tour through Lesotho goes horribly wrong
« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2017, 06:00:08 pm »
So what was the pre-existing condition. If they using it as an excuse they should know.


Would be unethical to disclose  a medical condition
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Offline meteldog

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Re: Bike Tour through Lesotho goes horribly wrong
« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2017, 06:27:25 pm »
I guess there are always 2 sides to a story. As a professional registered guide having guided more than 50 tours already, as a rule, if I have a rider in distress (which I have had on some occasions) there is no way I will force or coerce them to continue riding, they are offloaded into the support vehicle, if I need to go back and pick up the bike at some expense later then so be it.
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Offline jaybiker

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Re: Bike Tour through Lesotho goes horribly wrong
« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2017, 07:22:33 pm »
At the risk of commenting in ignorance, I feel inclined to ask :-

The road in Lesotho to Sani top is now fully tarred, and it is not so far removed from civilisation. Could medical assistance not have been summoned to the lodge? Very expensive, possibly, but weighed against the seriousness of the trauma.......?

Failing this, was it not possible to arrange transport with one of the many tour operators, or possibly private tourists in SUV's and 4x4's who travel the pass every day? Surely there must have been at least one good
Samaritan?

Regarding non disclosure of the medical condition, and the responsibility of the tour operator, maybe insufficient facts have come to light for a fair judgement of the situation, but surely a bit of simple humanitarian help would have done much to alleviate the suffering of the distressed lady and her husband.
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Offline meteldog

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Re: Bike Tour through Lesotho goes horribly wrong
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2017, 07:33:39 pm »
At the risk of commenting in ignorance, I feel inclined to ask :-

The road in Lesotho to Sani top is now fully tarred, and it is not so far removed from civilisation. Could medical assistance not have been summoned to the lodge? Very expensive, possibly, but weighed against the seriousness of the trauma.......?

Failing this, was it not possible to arrange transport with one of the many tour operators, or possibly private tourists in SUV's and 4x4's who travel the pass every day? Surely there must have been at least one good
Samaritan?

Regarding non disclosure of the medical condition, and the responsibility of the tour operator, maybe insufficient facts have come to light for a fair judgement of the situation, but surely a bit of simple humanitarian help would have done much to alleviate the suffering of the distressed lady and her husband.
+1
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Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Bike Tour through Lesotho goes horribly wrong
« Reply #25 on: July 09, 2017, 10:52:10 pm »
I have met Jo Rust, as many here have, and I cannot take sides, because I do not have all the info.

I just want to say this........speaking to a good friend of mine, a tour operator and Wilddog, it it astounding how many people book for a tour, claim that they are technically able, just to
discover on the tour that there is more than one grade of technical. ;)

Or she could have been really ill.

What is bothersome is the [apparent] non-caring attitude of the operator after the incident.
 

Offline TheBear

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Re: Bike Tour through Lesotho goes horribly wrong
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2017, 05:53:31 am »
weird how the two stories differ  :patch:

The truth will be somewhere in the middle.

Reading this there is one reminder in there to us all.  If you leave the country, make very sure you have proper out of country medical insurance. 

« Last Edit: July 10, 2017, 06:06:43 am by TheBear »
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Offline subie

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Re: Bike Tour through Lesotho goes horribly wrong
« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2017, 06:19:36 am »
What stands out for me is this person decided to go on an adventure trip with her medical condition.
What stopped her from deciding for herself on top of Sani that she is  not fit to ride,put her foot down and start making her own
decisions.
The mentality of any person going on a guided "adventure" tour I could never understand. They want to do the "adventure"
wrapped in cotton wool in their safe little spaces. Why and what for?
Sorry there was nobody to hold  hands with,send flowers, visit in hospital etc afterwards.
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Offline Sláinte Mhaith

Re: Bike Tour through Lesotho goes horribly wrong
« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2017, 08:00:02 am »

Or she could have been really ill.

You don't get admitted to hospital and operated on for nothing.

Did they really have a medic or was it just someone with a first aid course?
 

Offline Cracker

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Re: Bike Tour through Lesotho goes horribly wrong
« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2017, 08:10:47 am »
If I had a life-threatening illness, not feeling well at all, and get told by a 'local' guide that the only way out of my situation is to ride out - that's what I would do.. Seems that's what the woman in question did.

The alternative is to curl up and die.

Many bike rides I've been on have changed quite dramatically from what was planned. A bike tour operator should know this, expect it and be ready for it. Not to say you should be a doctor, or even have a medical person with you but you should have a reasonable procedure to get help. Maybe this one did and maybe it failed, I don't know. Personally, I'd have changed the tour to accommodate the injured, f--k the rest, but that's just me - you certainly never leave anyone alone.

But on the other hand, riding any adventure in Africa and elsewhere is a risk, you have to accept that. Some don't get to go home .............

Barring the loss of face and loss of finances, this one seemed to end well. Big lessons learnt, I hope.
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Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Bike Tour through Lesotho goes horribly wrong
« Reply #30 on: July 10, 2017, 08:17:44 am »

Or she could have been really ill.

You don't get admitted to hospital and operated on for nothing.

Did they really have a medic or was it just someone with a first aid course?

If she actually suffered from sepsis, then the tour operator showed criminal neglect.
 

Offline CycleC

Re: Bike Tour through Lesotho goes horribly wrong
« Reply #31 on: July 10, 2017, 08:52:06 am »
Sorry to say but this seems to have been handled very poorly by the tour company. if an overseas rider is on a tour the operator should insist of FULL medical cover including Air evacuation. Then its a simple call and within an hour or so a helicopter arrives. If the Heli cant come into Lesotho then the operator could have driven the lady to the border and into SA and its done. She would have been sorted ASAP.

If you really want to nit-pick  -  this tour operator is actually operating illegally in the borders of Lesotho, You need a work permit and registered business to hold tours and benefit financially in a foreign country. the lawyers would have a field day with this company if they decide to press charges. Criminal negligence, Operating in a foreign country without the correct documentation. 
 
 

Offline Fransw

Re: Bike Tour through Lesotho goes horribly wrong
« Reply #32 on: July 10, 2017, 09:02:05 am »
There are always 3 sides of a story. My side, your side and the truth! :lol8:
 

Offline 1190

Re: Bike Tour through Lesotho goes horribly wrong
« Reply #33 on: July 10, 2017, 09:09:59 am »
A few rides ago an oldish guy came riding in a group with us and fell in some soft sand, nothing major but I could see he fell because he was unfit...I lifted the bike off of him as he was trapped beneath it and started the bike and he road another few meters and fell over again....I then rode hes bike out of the sand and we rode to a point were I waited with him while the of rest of the group who went ahead to go play in the sand down towards the river....For me your riding buddy's health over rides any plans for the day or the trip etc When we do planned rides for more than a few days in remote areas I.E. the Transkei we always have a backup vehicle with a trailer, the cost for the fuel and driver accommodation etc is cover by the group of riders.....we have been doing it like this for 10 years and I think that although we all like a challenge when things go really south you want peace of mind that there is a safety net in place :thumleft:
« Last Edit: July 10, 2017, 09:11:13 am by 1190 »
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Offline TheBear

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Re: Bike Tour through Lesotho goes horribly wrong
« Reply #34 on: July 10, 2017, 09:19:23 am »

Or she could have been really ill.

You don't get admitted to hospital and operated on for nothing.

Did they really have a medic or was it just someone with a first aid course?

I am wondering about this.  As a Think Bike Marshal I was involved in escorting duties for a bike trip or two.  On the one, the Journey of Hope, we had lots of chats with the paramedic on trip.  He had an Emergency Preparedness Plan for every day and that included calling a local emergency responder like ER24 every morning.  During this call he discussed our route, gave details of numbers, etc. and even inquired if there is a chopper available in the area, etc. It was quite extensive.   According to him this was required for him to keep his license to operate.

I did mention Medical Insurance earlier.  I am not having a go at these people, but if they had proper out of country medical insurance, she could have called an emergency responder from the hotel at the top of Sani and requested casavac.  I do wonder which ambulance service they used.  Pretty sick to demand payment in cash before transport.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2017, 09:22:23 am by TheBear »
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Offline m0lt3n

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Re: Bike Tour through Lesotho goes horribly wrong
« Reply #35 on: July 10, 2017, 10:04:31 am »
So, I see the 'pre-existing medical condition' will stay a secret. this situation was definitely handled wrong, but I don't think we are getting near to the whole story.

I did mention Medical Insurance earlier.  I am not having a go at these people, but if they had proper out of country medical insurance, she could have called an emergency responder from the hotel at the top of Sani and requested casavac.  I do wonder which ambulance service they used.  Pretty sick to demand payment in cash before transport.

Normal, on the mine where I work the mine medical personal once took a guy that fell unconscious out of the mine per ambulance, parked, and waited an hour for state ambulance to take patient to a state hospital in another town because he did not have medical aid.
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Re: Bike Tour through Lesotho goes horribly wrong
« Reply #36 on: July 10, 2017, 10:08:39 am »
Pretty sick to demand payment in cash before transport.

As far as I am aware, this is S.O.P these days if you cannot produce a valid medical aid card.
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Offline King Louis

Re: Bike Tour through Lesotho goes horribly wrong
« Reply #37 on: July 10, 2017, 10:14:30 am »
A very very interesting thread. Difficult for me to comment, simply because I have about a year ago started my own tour business and have learnt so much of what I did not expect. You are taking overseas visitors through various countries with various riding conditions and it is hard to find out beforehand to establish the level of proficiency of the rider booking a tour with you. From what I have read about the various providers, local and overseas, they all pretty much offer similar tours and have similar conditions going with that. This includes disclosure of any medical condition, international travel insurance, signing of an indemnity before the tour as all participants know that they "could" come off. So all participants are quite aware of what the tour conditions are. They are specifically made aware if the tour goes off tar. You will be surprised how many overseas riders underestimate that and happily come along, only to find out, that they should have booked a trip on tar only.

A medic on tour should be able to judge the situation better than a first aider. That should have stopped the said client from riding. It is easy to discuss sitting at your desk, it is different if you have an accident situation in the middle of nowhere. Medivac/Helicopter within one hour? If you are lucky, very lucky. It depends on your insurance company and the back up system they have in place. I have had one rider coming off in deep sand in Namibia, with full medical/evac etc. But based in the Far East, communication is not just a simple phone call away, it can take hours before it is agreed to by the various companies involved. The last one was a single vehicle (minibus) accident just outside Helmeringhausen (not my group), a lady was badly injured, paramedics where on the scene relatively quick, but she needed emergency treatment in a hospital. She was a visitor from the UK. Long story short, with medical cover in place, it still took 5 hours for the helicopter from Windhoek to arrive.

I do not envy Jo's position in this case. Neither will I be commenting on the handling of the situation. Nobody reports about hundreds of satisfied customers who enjoyed the riding in Africa and all that comes with it. I furthermore doubt that most of the operators, i.e. those who run tours from an overseas base, are registered in the countries they ride through. this includes companies from the USA, Canada, UK, Europe etc. 

But one client gets into a situation, which could lead you to close your business? Because of a probable non-disclosure of a medical condition. As not having full details of the situation from all involved, I stay away from further commenting as it can only be based on speculation. Not good.
 

Offline TheBear

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Re: Bike Tour through Lesotho goes horribly wrong
« Reply #38 on: July 10, 2017, 10:40:33 am »
A medic on tour should be able to judge the situation better than a first aider. That should have stopped the said client from riding. It is easy to discuss sitting at your desk, it is different if you have an accident situation in the middle of nowhere. Medivac/Helicopter within one hour? If you are lucky, very lucky. It depends on your insurance company and the back up system they have in place. I have had one rider coming off in deep sand in Namibia, with full medical/evac etc. But based in the Far East, communication is not just a simple phone call away, it can take hours before it is agreed to by the various companies involved. The last one was a single vehicle (minibus) accident just outside Helmeringhausen (not my group), a lady was badly injured, paramedics where on the scene relatively quick, but she needed emergency treatment in a hospital. She was a visitor from the UK. Long story short, with medical cover in place, it still took 5 hours for the helicopter from Windhoek to arrive.

Agreed that a medivac is no guarantee, but it should still be in place.  In this case it could have saved the sick lady the journey down the mountain, or in your case a chopper after 5 hours is still better than a ambulance after 20 or nothing.   In fact, if I was a tour operator (easy to say, I know), I would make proper medical insurance compulsory for any customer coming on a tour with me. 

« Last Edit: July 10, 2017, 10:41:02 am by TheBear »
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Re: Bike Tour through Lesotho goes horribly wrong
« Reply #39 on: July 10, 2017, 10:53:02 am »
https://www.jorustadventures.com/single-post/2017/06/12/An-open-letter-to-the-adventure-motorcycling-community-and-anyone-planning-wishing-to-go-on-an-organized-adventure-motorcycle-tour

Her side of the story -Advice

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