A 48-year-old woman who was stranded for five days in the dense bushland of Australia said she survived on only wine and lollipops.
The woman, identified as Lillian Ip from Cheltenham by authorities, was treated at a hospital for dehydration after she was rescued by Victoria Police on Thursday, May 4, 2023.
“She was only planning a short-day trip, so she had only taken a couple of snacks and lollies with her, but no water,” said Sgt. Martin Torpey of the Wodonga police station. “The only liquid Lillian, who doesn’t drink, had with her was a bottle of wine she had bought as a gift for her mother.”
Ip was headed to Dartmouth Dam in Bright, Victoria, by car last week when she took a wrong turn and ended up stuck in the mud, police said. With no cellphone service, she couldn’t call for help.
When she didn’t call her family on April 30, letting them know she had reached her destination, they became worried and soon notified the police. Emergency crews used helicopters and ground units to carry out “extensive searches” of the region over four days, police said.
They were unable to locate Ip until Thursday when they conducted yet another sweep of the hilly terrain by helicopter and spotted Ip’s car at the end of a dirt road in the Mitta Mitta bushland – 37 miles from the nearest town, according to police.
“Lillian was found a good 60km (196860.00 feets) away from the nearest town and due to health issues she was unable to try and walk for help so stayed with her car,” said Torepy in search of finding Lillian.
Ip could be seen on a police video waving to get the attention of rescuers. The helicopter then directed a local police van to her location, “where she was located safe and well,” police said.
“While she couldn’t move her car, she was able to use the heater overnight to keep herself warm,” Sgt. Torpey said.
The low temperature on Thursday was 36 degrees in Mitta Mitta, the coldest the area got while Ip was stranded out in the bushland, according to AccuWeather data. Temperatures had dipped into the 40s the four previous nights.
“I thought I was going to die there. My whole body shut down on Friday,” Ip told 9News Australia, adding that she “was about to give up.”
She is expected to make a full recovery from her hospital treatment.
“After being lost in the bush for five days, she was extremely relieved and grateful to see us, and we were just as happy to see her,” Torpey said of the rescue efforts to finding Ip.
Produced in association with AccuWeather
Edited by Alberto Arellano and Joseph Hammond
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