Stranded Driver Survives 40C Outback Trek
January 5, 2012 by staff
Stranded Driver Survives 40C Outback Trek, A woman motorist stranded for two days in one of the remotest parts of Australia has said thought she was going to die as she walked miles in blistering heat for help.
Beth Lawrie, 56, walked 25km in temperatures exceeding 40C to get reception on her mobile phone after her motorhome broke down in the remote north-west of the state of Victoria.
Her vehicle came to a halt in the middle of the Murray Sunset National Park, a huge area of semi desert outback, miles from the nearest settlement.
For eight hours she tried to fix her ford Transit Van before deciding the only option she had left was to walk for help.
She said “I thought OK, get into survival mode and do what you have to do. And that means walk.”
Murray Sunset National Park is around 200 miles (322km) east of Adelaide
Ms Lawrie survived the unforgiving environment on a tiny amount of food and just four litres of water.
She walked through the night, resting only when sun came up and the heat became too much.
Using her van’s GPS system to guide her, she sheltered from the sun under an umbrella before continuing her journey after nightfall.
She eventually found a phone signal when she reached the aptly named Last Hope Track on Wednesday morning.
She told the Herald Sun newspaper: “It was a matter of pacing myself, because I was out of water, and I couldn’t walk too fast or I’d use too much water.
Murray Sunset National Park
“So, whenever I felt my heart rate increase, I took a rest. The middle of the road became my bed.”
Beth said she feared she would die on several occasions.
Acting Sgt Jason Bruhn said when police reached her she had badly blistered feet and was found just in time.
“She couldn’t have gone too much further because she was incapable of walking and she had no further water,” he said.
“If you are going into those areas you need to let someone know.”
Bush survival expert Bob Cooper said it is incredible she survived. “It’s blistering, it’s really hot, it’s dehydrating. It can terrify you just the amount of heat and reflected radiation off the soil.”
After a short stay in hospital Ms Lawrie has now recovered and despite her ordeal says she is planning on getting back behind the wheel.
She sold her house to buy her van and travel Australia, and says this setback is not going to stop her fulfilling her dream.
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