Boy died in Australian bush 'because emergency services couldn't understand my Scottish accent'

Gordon Williamson with his wife and son Ewan, who died while walking a remote trail in Australia
Gordon Williamson with his wife and son Ewan, who died while walking a remote trail in Australia

The father of a Scottish teenager who died after collapsing on a remote walking trail in Australia says police took too long to respond to his emergency call because he believed they could not understand his accent.

Ewan Williamson, 14, died from severe heatstroke and exhaustion while walking the Badjirrajirra Loop Trail with his father, Gordon Williamson, in West Australia's Cape Range National Park in December, 2012.

Mr Williamson told an inquest at the Coroner's Court of Western Australia on Tuesday it seemed that the officer that handled his call struggled to understand him.

"He didn't make a lot of effort to try and understand," Mr Williamson was quoted as saying by the West Australian.

"It's seven minutes, I think that's bloody ridiculous. It shouldn't take seven minutes to get my point across."

The court heard that Ewan started to feel faint shortly after he and his father started the walk around 10 am.

The pair found a cave and Ewan's dad gave him some water. They then returned to the track, but became disoriented.

About 400 metres from the car, Ewan complained he could not walk any further. His father then sat him down and continued to the car to call 000 at 2.03pm.

The call lasted seven minutes and was logged as a a "priority three" job by WA police.

The job's status was upgraded to "priority two" four minutes later when a call was made to Exmouth Police Station alerting them about Ewan.

State Coroner Ros Fogliani will look into the handling of the call by officer Sen. Const. Diviney.

Mr Williamson said he initially "wasn't concerned" for his son's life, the ABC reported, but when he returned he found his son was semi-conscious and called again for an ambulance.

Two Exmouth police officers arrived just before 3pm and then carried the teenager up a gully.

Paramedics attempted to resuscitate the teenager but he died in hospital that evening.

- Daily Mail

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