Lillian Ip’s car became stuck in mud after taking a wrong turn in the outback.
Australian woman Lillian Ip, 48, survived for five days deep in the Australian bush by eating candy and drinking a single bottle of wine, she has told the media.
Last Sunday, Ip took a wrong turn soon after setting off on what was supposed to be a brief trip in Victoria state – only for her car to become stuck in heavy mud.
After discovering that she was unable to call for help due to a lack of cell phone service, Ip – who is a teetotaler – decided to sustain herself with the only form of nourishment available to her: a single bottle of wine and candy, which were meant to be gifts for her mother.
Fearing the worst, Ip even wrote a letter to her family telling them that she loved them. But after five days in the wilderness, she was rescued by emergency services, who spotted her from the skies as part of an aerial search. She was taken to the hospital, where she was treated for dehydration, but has since been released.
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“I thought I was going to die there,” she told 9News Australia after she was found, adding that she “was about to give up” and that she felt as if her “whole body shut down.”
Ip, who used her car’s heater to stay warm overnight, was found 37 miles (60km) from the nearest town, Victoria Police said. They added that health issues that prevented her from moving too far away from her car were a vital factor in her successful rescue.
“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,” said Wodonga Police Station Sergeant Martin Torpey. He added that the rescued woman was “extremely relieved and grateful” when emergency workers arrived at the scene.
And after nursing no more than a bottle of wine and some candy over the course of her unscheduled layoff in the Victoria bush, Ip’s first request upon her rescue seemed appropriate.
“First thing that came to mind was water and a cigarette,” she said to 9News. “Thank God [for] the policewoman, she had a cigarette.”
Image credit: George Becker