Sunday 23 December Channel 7 News Mackay - 22 drownings from the start of December - most of them tourists.
Tourist accidents are contingencies for which every one of us, when on holidays, should be aware might happen.
Even though we may think we are careful, and that 'it can't happen to us', in reality we are subject to the same illnesses such as an ear infection requiring antibiotics, or a fall requiring an X-ray, or even something more serious such as a broken bone, emergency surgery, or medical attention after a motor accident."
I recall a news item by Kate Schneider of two events voted among the finalists in "World's unluckiest traveller" competition run by US travel insurance company Travel Guard were: an unfortunate tourist who suffered a horrific cliff plunge while relieving himself, resulting in a shattered leg; and a helicopter crash in the Grand Canyon.
Other entrants included tales of boat trips from hell, getting lost in a cave, sickening airport food and a stressful honeymoon. Another tourist told of how she and her cousin ended up with a fractured neck and skull respectively after their heads were smashed together when a drunk driver collided with their vehicle.
Other tales of misadventure that didn't make the finalist list included a woman who discovered live snakes in her pottery after they were missed by airport security, and a traveller whose purse was stolen by a baboon in Kenya.
Holiday misadventures are always on the cards, and although none of us want such things to happen to us, we are all aware that they do.
I recall on one family holiday our son, who was nine years old, had a leg fracture. The family were holidaying in Mackay Queensland and we spent a good part of a day at the hospital where he received a leg plaster and crutches.
After a full week away, when it was time to go to the airport, the family made a detour to the hospital to return the crutches. During that holiday, he somehow kept up with the family when shopping or sightseeing. We all made accommodation for him in the car and wherever else we went.
It’s been widely advertised and promoted for all Australians when travelling to take out travel insurance, especially when going to the United States. The health care system in the US is geared specifically for 'pay as you use' and anyone unable to pay soon find themselves on the outer.
A friend of mine travelled Europe without any type of travel insurance claiming that he saved $116 and was careful. The problem with that philosophy of thinking is that many accidents occur through the negligence of someone else.
I recall on one occasion I simply forget travel insurance. I was on a Mission tour in New Zealand in 2000 with speaking appointments at schools, universities, church men's dinners and breakfasts. My airfare was met as were my internal travel and accommodation costs. Taking out travel insurance simply slipped my mind. Stupid as!
I recall I very nearly came to being 'seriously injured' when speaking at a men's dinner in Hamilton. Australia at that time held the Bledislo Cup (Rugby), the Hockey and Netball Cups and the Cricket.
In my opening remarks I noted that I was given a mug for my coffee, and commented I realised why, - "all the Cups were in Australia!" I nearly had 50 mugs thrown at me.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html