Young man dies in 4WD recovery gone wrong

Image courtesy of Livingstone Shire Council.

Another 4WD recovery gone wrong has claimed a life, this time a 26 year old man. The incident occoured at Farnborough Beach on the Capricorn Coast, just north of Yepoon.

Reports indicate that the man has recovered another vehicle out of a bogging on the popular 4X4 beach, using a snatch strap attached to a bull bar. Something has let go during the recovery, and the strap/shackle has gone through the rear of the vehicle and struck the man. The impact caused fatal injuries, and the man died at the scene. Whether it was the shackle or the recovery point that failed is unclear at this stage.

Update: It has been reported in the comments that the tow point on the towed vehicle failed, causing the injury.

Our thoughts go out to the grieving family at this time.





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  • The tow point on the other vehicle failed. It was an instant death. I was quite close to Chris, his funeral was today.

    And it was Farnborough Beach, not Bangalee.

  • Terribly sad and upsetting for the family and the whole of the 4X4 community feels it. Condolences for the loss to all who knew the young man. He should always be remembered for the help he offered to those bogged out there…
    What are the advantages/disadvantages of snatch strap against old fashioned winch and (well maintained) cable?
    This might make an interesting study…

  • It is so important to ONLY use Rated equipment and recovery points. I believe many 4wdrivers haven’t had proper education on how to safely affect a recovery, using rated equipment and damping blankets over the rope to prevent flick back if something gives/breaks.

    There is so much cheap crap ( non rated) for sale in shops around the country that can be literally life threatening if used in this sort of situation, so it’s up to us to get educated before getting out there. Just join any 4wd club and they will usually run training sessions for their members as we all want to get out there and have fun but it’s also about taking responsibility at the same time.

    So sad for the poor driver. We don’t actually know whether it was human or equipment failure when he was trying to help out his mate, but there is a lot we can do to minimise the chance of this happening when we’re in this situation.

  • My deepest sympathy to the family of this young man. I had alucky escape from a similar incident. To recover my mates bogged vehicle I attached my snatching strap to my tow bar and handed the other end to my mate with a large d shackle entrusting him to attach it to his vehicle. Unbeknown to me he attached it to a tie-down bracket. The bracket came away from the vehicle as the snatch strap loaded up propelling the heavy d shackle into the rear of my vehicle. Fortunately for me it hit the pipe work supporting my roof wrack because my vehicle was on a slight angle to his. The dent in the two inch pipe support of my roof wrack was at my head height, through the rear window if I had been straight on to his vehicle. The impact was deafening and the energy of the missile shackle deadly. Never snatch recover without driver of recover vehicle making sure all precautions for proper connection to proper tow points are made with adequate air brake. His head is literally on the block.

  • You should never use a shackle to join 2 snatch straps,
    If you connect the shackle to a vehicle with a shackle make sure it is to a strong mount e.g tow bar.
    Not wrapped around a bull bar or connected to a tie down lug.

    You must know the difference between a towing hook mount and a tie down mount which is simply used to tie the vehicle down in shipping.

  • you can prevent this by uing a dead weight or blanket on the strap, if it gives way it falls to the ground preventing a flying shackle or strap

  • my deepest condolences to the family of the young fella who passed away in such a complete accident in the recovery of a vehicle. How sad.

    I love watching Pat on a Sunday, now my hubby and I are virtually retired, even though I am disabled and he is my full time carer, I want to travel around Australia to see our grandchildren for a long period, maybe a year.

    We are considering purchasing a Camper Trailer which would be handy and I feel I would be comfy enough with my bad back.

    Thanks Pat for a great show and for teaching us a great deal.

    Thank you


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