Coroner finds bushwalker died due to poor decisions

Coroner finds bushwalker died due to poor decisions

"a series of poor decisions"

Posted on 27.05.2019

Three years after a bushwalker died on Tasmania’s famed Overland Track a coroner has found the 55-year-old man, “tragically brought about his own demise by a series of poor decisions”.

On Tuesday Coroner Olivia McTaggart handed down her findings into the 2016 death of Trevor John Tolputt.

Mr Tolputt died on July 14, 2016, as a result of hypothermia while walking in the winter alone in what the coroner describes as “freezing, snowy conditions” on the physically and psychologically challenging Overland Track.

Mr Tolputt had been walking for six days and was about a kilometre from the Narcissus Hut at the Lake St Clair end of the track.

From the hut, he would have caught the 40-minute ferry to the Lake St Clair visitors centre.

The coroner found Mr Tolputt’s poor decisions included waking alone and having inadequate clothing and equipment to protect against the snow.

His jacket was not waterproof and did not have gloves or a beanie, and instead had an Akubra hat. reports medical evidence provided to the inquest suggested the Akubra hat would not have stopped the warmth escaping from his body.

“The clothing worn by Mr Tolputt was inadequate for the conditions that he faced,” Ms McTaggart said.

“Mr Tolputt was wearing a jacket which would not have properly kept him dry in the conditions he faced and may have contributed to the development of hypothermia.”

Ms McTaggart recommended eight actions, including the walker safety checklist itemising adequate clothing and that Tas PWS make a video on hypothermia.

As always Great Walks promotes safety in the outdoors especially when walking alone and bushwalking in extreme conditions.

Great Walks

See also:
Bushwalker who died at Cradle Mountain was just 1.2km from end of Overland Track (ABC News)




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