LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – After receiving the sad news on January 16 of the confirmation of the death of our daughter and sister, Monika (pictured), we would like at this point to express to the police, all the people who helped them and whose names we do not know, the local media, and the residents of Alice Springs our deepest thanks for their tireless search, and for their concern.
We are deeply sorry that you have had to once again undertake a difficult and selfless search for a missing tourist, and we are at a loss as to how we can possibly reciprocate your efforts.
At the same time, we have been reflecting as to how such extensive searches could be facilitated or made easier in the future, or how the necessity to conduct them could be forestalled, and the risk for people visiting your area on vacation could be reduced.
For instance, tourists could be required to give notice of their destination before they leave in the morning for a hike or day trip, or to check in at the hotel reception desk when they return in the evening, or to carry a GPS tracking device.
Perhaps, in this way, human lives can be saved in the future.
Unfortunately, it was not possible to save the life of Monika, because her absence was not noticed for several days.
Since, however, we are not familiar with the region around Alice Springs, and we do not know what kinds of regulations for hikers and tourists are already in place there, we naturally have no way of knowing if the measures we have suggested are at all realistic, or if, on the other hand, these suggestions for greater safety on tours of the Outback are not at all new to you.
Whatever the case may be, perhaps the death of Monika will trigger a discussion in the community of Alice Springs regarding these or similar measures to ensure greater safety, less efforts for involved persons, and inasmuch as possible, lead to the implementation of such measures.
Kind regards, Billen Family
Billen's family: Make telling hotel where you trek mandatory
LETTER TO THE EDITOR