Doofus Of The Day #1,022

Today’s award goes to four backpackers in Australia, for what can only be described as a comedy of errors.  A tip o’ the hat to reader Snoggeramus for sending me the link to the story.

On Tuesday evening, Max Shkrendij put a post on the Backpacker Jobs in Australia Facebook page with a somewhat humorous request for help.

“This is going to sound silly but me and three friends are stranded on Gloucester Island near Airlie Beach because the blow up mattress we used to get over with all our camping stuff etc has a hole in it and sank.

“So, anyone nearby have a boat or something to come get us? We can pay you! Kind regards in advance.”

The post sparked a flurry of responses from the community, both offering assistance and revelling in the absurdity of the situation.

One of the comments read: “This is either going to end in tragedy or a hilarious news story. Honestly mate, good luck, all I can offer.”

Further posts revealed that the travellers had been camping near Hydeaway Bay in their van then waited for low tide before attempting the fateful trip to Gloucester Island.

Everything went downhill, or rather under water, when the mattress snagged on a sharp shell, destroying any chance of a return trip.

The stranded travellers attempted to melt plastic over the mattress to seal the hole in true “she’ll be right” fashion, but only succeeded in burning a bigger hole in their unconventional mode of transportation.

A post from fellow stranded backpacker Dale Jeffs shone some light on the unfortunate error.

“Tried repairing it melting some plastic but my mate farted as I was doing it and I laughed and poked another massive hole in the mattress with the ember I was using to heat plastic.

“Someone left the lid off the box of food we had and when we came back from exploring, something had been in the box and took our food.

“But aye man, we just got to the pub.”

Finally, it appeared evident that the unlucky bunch had no choice but to sit tight and wait to be rescued in the morning, or, as some locals recommended, perch in a tree to avoid the resident croc.

There’s more at the link.

It’s hardly necessary to add that there aren’t any crocodiles in the area.  The advice to “perch in a tree to avoid” them is doubtless trotted out by the locals whenever they get tired of idiot tourists like our four heroes doofi.

As for burning a bigger hole in an inflatable mattress due to inadvertent flatulence . . . well, I suppose that’s a logical coinkydink.  Both are letting air out, aren’t they?



  1. It seems like they're native to Australia, if not the specific area they got "stranded" in, so my question is, how have they survived that place? Basically *everything* in Australia wants to kill you…maybe they haven't left the city before? The "melt plastic to fix the hole" (with an ember from a fire, no less) indicates a surprising capacity for innovation, certainly greater than I'd expect from an average urban-bubble dweller with zero ability to survive without access to public utilities etc… Either way, it's freaking hilarious. Just sparked my curiosity. And yes, any backpacker or outdoorsman worth his salt had better have some duct tape in his pack. Even better, a small amount in his pocket!

  2. Oh, and the "air-mattress-cum-raft" thing is also surprisingly inventive, if not especially wise, idea from a clueless city-dweller, I think. I'll shut up now, lol.

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