News State Western Australia News WA’s withering outback heat claims its second life in a week

WA’s withering outback heat claims its second life in a week

Daniel Price fell victim to the searing heat on an ill-fated ride through the Kimberley. Photo: WA Police
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Heat exposure is believed to have claimed the life of a second person in outback Australia in a week.

Experienced motorcyclist Daniel Price was on a solo expedition from Darwin to Karratha when he went missing in Western Australia’s remote Kimberley last week.

A body matching his description was found on an isolated dirt track near the Gibb River Road yesterday afternoon following a large search and rescue operation.

It comes days after a 27 year-old man died of heat exposure while hiking at a popular tourist spot in Kalbarri National Park last Saturday.

East Kimberley Inspector Greg Crofts from WA Police said early indications suggested Mr Price, a fly-in fly-out worker from Karratha, had succumbed to extreme heat and dehydration.

“These circumstances are terrible,” he said.

“We were able to find him in a location that was very remote, very harsh and impassable at this time of the year.”

The Kimberley is world-renowned for its vast and highly remote landscape.

Temperatures in the past week have averaged in the mid-40s as the region prepares for the start of the wet season.

It appears Mr Price became bogged in soft ground and, despite being well-prepared with plenty of food and water, the extreme conditions claimed his life.

Inspector Crofts said the news had hit everyone hard.

“This is just such a tragic event and a tragic outcome for everybody — a massive impact for everybody involved.

“His family is devastated. I can only imagine what they are going through.”

The alarm for Mr Price was first raised on Thursday when he did not arrive home as planned on Wednesday afternoon.

Police were able to narrow the massive search area by tracking his phone to a mobile tower in Wyndham.

Planes and helicopters were dispatched to scour the surrounding bushland and a search party, that included SES volunteers, travelled 700 kilometres of the Gibb River Road looking for him.

A pastoralist then reported seeing a similar motorcycle and rider heading down the King River Road.

Helicopters were sent to the area yesterday resulting in the discovery of a body and motorcycle matching Mr Price’s description.

Inspector Crofts said Mr Price’s family had thanked the community for trying to find him over the past days.

“Daniel’s family has asked to thank everyone involved, to pass on their sincere gratitude to the searching parties,” he said.

Travellers in the Kimberley have been encouraged to take a personal locating beacon, or EPIRB, on trips to the remote region.