Woman Who Went Missing In Australian Bushland Survived 5 Days On Wine, Lollipops
Becoming lost in Australia‘s vast bushland can be a terrifying prospect. For one woman, it became a reality. For five days, the 48-year-old was missing in the dense vegetation. When she was rescued by authorities, she revealed that she’d survived on wine and lollipops.
In a press release shared to their website on May 5, 2023, Victoria Police shared that the woman, named Lillian Ip, went missing while on holiday at Bright, a popular tourist spot known for its hiking and cycling trails, wineries and museum. It’s also a base for those looking to climb the peaks that make up Mount Buffalo National Park and Alpine National Park.
Ip’s relatives raised the alarm on April 30, when she failed to check in with them. This prompted local authorities to launch an extensive search of not only Bright, but nearby Wodonga, Albury and Mitta Mitta. However, their initial efforts uncovered no sign of the missing woman.
On May 4, Ip’s car was spotted by Victoria Police’s Air Wing, which had been conducting a sweep of the Mitta Mitta bushland. A ground team was directed to the location by the helicopter crew, with the day ending in her rescue. She was taken to hospital and treated for dehydration.
“Lillian was found a good 60km away from the nearest town and due to health issues she was unable to try and walk for help so stayed in her car,” said Wodonga Police Station Sgt. Martin Torpey in the media release. “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.”
See the moment Air Wing located a woman, who was missing for five days in dense bushland.
Yesterday afternoon, Air Wing were conducting a sweep of the hilly terrain when they spotted Lillian’s car at the end of a dirt road in the Mitta Mitta bushland.
🔗 https://t.co/dgjOkkgdY0 pic.twitter.com/DwbaJHLUMn
— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) May 6, 2023
After speaking with Ip, authorities determined that the woman had been traveling to Dartmouth Dam when she accidentally took a wrong turn and wound up at a dead-end road in Yankee Point Track. When she tried to retrace her steps, her car became bogged down in the mud. To make matters worse, she had no cell service, meaning she couldn’t call for help.
They also learned that she’d survived her ordeal on only a bottle of wine she’d purchased “as a gift for her mother,” lollipops and some snacks – all she’d taken with her for what she’d assumed would be a short trip. To keep herself warm at night, she used the heater in her car.
Speaking with 9News Australia, Ip revealed that she doesn’t drink wine. After four days, she’d accepted that she may not survive the ordeal and wrote a letter to her family, telling them how much she loved them and asking that they not cry over her death.
“I thought that I was going to die there,” she shared. “My whole body shut down on Friday. I was about to give up.”
Following her rescue, she told the authorities that she only needed two things: a smoke and some water. “Thank god the policewoman had a cigarette,” she said.
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After being lost in the dense bushland for nearly a week, Torpey revealed that Lillian “was extremely relieved and grateful to see us and we were happy to see her.”