An Australian woman who spent five days lost in the wilderness says she has wine to thank for her survival after being rescued by an air police search team on Friday (May 5).
Lillian Ip vanished on April 30 after setting off on holiday and driving through the dense Victoria state bush, where her car became stuck in mud after she had taken a wrong turn. Due to health conditions, the 48-year old – who used her vehicle’s heater to keep warm at night – was unable to walk to the nearest town, according to police.
And with no mobile phone signal, she was also powerless to call for help. Ms Ip, who is normally teetotal and was planning on giving away the booze as a present to her mother, had no food with her other than a few lollipops.
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Speaking to 9News Australia about her ordeal, she revealed: “The first thing coming in my mind, I was thinking ‘water and a cigarette.’
Thank god the policewoman had a cigarette. I thought I was going to die there. My whole body shut down on Friday.”
Fearing she would never be found, Ms Ip added that she wrote a ‘goodbye’ letter to her family, which read: “If you don’t find by this time I could be dead by frozen cold. I love you all. Don’t cry for me.”
CNN footage, however, shows the moment her frantic waves from a dirt track were spotted by a police helicopter before officers made their descent.
Wodonga Police’s Sergeant Martin Torpey added: “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 so that got her through.
“She used great common sense to stay with her car and not wander off into bushland, which assisted in police being able to find her.
“While she couldn’t move her car, she was able to use the heater overnight [to] give her some warmth.
“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.”