Australian Woman Survives 5 Days in Wilderness on Wine and Lollipops

Australian authorities commended her for having "great common sense" given the situation.

View from the Reed Lookout in the Grampians National Park in Victoria, Australia

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Last Friday, the Victoria Police Department rescued 48-year-old Lillian Ip of Cheltenham who spent five days stranded in the Australian wilderness while on her way to visit her mother in Bright. Ip took a wrong turn and hit a dead-end in the dense Mitta Mitta bushland, about 250 miles northeast of Melbourne. When attempting to turn her car around, her tires got bogged down in the muddy terrain.

With no cell service in the area, Ip couldn't call for help and, due to health conditions, was unable to walk to the nearest town approximately 40 miles away. So instead of wandering further into the bushland, she remained with her car hoping to be found.

“I thought I was going to die out there,” Ip told News 9 Melbourne. Ip said, "I’m just sitting there thinking, what am I going to do? How am I going to survive this?”

In a press release, Wodonga Police Station Sergeant Martin Torpey said, “She was only planning a short-day trip so (she) had only taken a couple of snacks and lollies with her but no water.” The only liquids Lillian had were a juice box and the bottle of wine she was taking as a gift for her mother. Ip, who doesn't drink alcohol, rationed the wine as a source of hydration. “My whole body shut down on Friday," Ip said.

Victoria Police began the search for her on April 30th when her family reported her missing after not being able to contact her. It wasn’t until the Victoria Police Air Wing — a specialist response division that provides aerial patrols of the metropolitan Melbourne area — conducted a sweep of the hilly landscape and spotted Ip waving at the helicopter while standing near her car. The police commended Ip for her “great common sense not to wander off.”

Ip was immediately taken to a hospital to be treated for dehydration before being quickly cleared for release.

And Ip's sense of humor seems to have remained intact despite the ordeal. When News 9 asked what her bottle of survival wine tasted like, non-drinker Ip simply replied, "Shit."

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