Backpackers left stranded on island after inflatable mattress boat bursts

12th Sep 2018
Written by: Dave Owen

It probably seemed like an ingenious way of saving some dollars on transport, but a plan to reach an Australian paradise island by using a blow-up mattress as a boat quickly proved unwise after it sprang a leak, leaving four backpackers stranded.

Last week, a post by Max Shkandrij appeared on the ‘Backpacker Jobs in Australia’ Facebook page. It read:

“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.”

inflatable mattress boat

Gloucester Island is a national park off the coast of Queensland, Australia, popular with campers and easily reachable by boat.

But not, it turns out, easily reachable by inflatable mattress. Upon arrival on the island, a sharp shell tore a hole in the air bed, making it impossible for the group to return.

An attempt to fix the mattress went similarly poorly.

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“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,” read a Facebook post from Dale Jeffs, another of the stranded backpackers.

The situation only got worse. “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.”

Fortunately, the group survived the night and were rescued the next morning.

“We just got to the pub,” read the follow-up post.

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