Five days on nothing but wine and lollies might sound like the perfect long weekend, but one Victorian woman found out that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be after getting waylaid on her way to visit friends and family.
We’ve reported on wine a fair bit here at DMARGE, from the world-beating Aussie white wine to the devastating effect of climate change on Australian growers… But rarely does it come up in quote such an exciting context as this.
Lillian Ip became stranded after her car got bogged in mud while travelling through the dense bushland at Bright in Victoria’s High Country, and found that she had nothing other than a few rogue snacks and her “common sense” to sustain her.
Thankfully, she was found alive and well on Friday after her family raised the alarm and the police began an extensive search of the area that was around 400km northeast of Melbourne, covering Mitta Mitta, Wodonga, Bright, and Albury.
WATCH: The emotional moment Lillian is rescued by Victoria Police.
Spotted by a police helicopter on Friday, a local police van was swiftly dispatched to her location. According to Wodonga Police Station Sergeant Martin Torpey, Lillian was able to survive thanks to some gifts she had luckily stashed away in her vehicle:
“The only liquid Lillian had with her was a bottle of wine she had bought as a gift for her mother, so that got her through.”Sergeant Torpey
There was, however, one highly ironic complicating factor – Lillian doesn’t normally drink. According to police, “she was only planning a short-day trip so had only taken a couple of snacks and lollies with her but no water. 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.”
Lillian couldn’t call for help as there was no mobile reception in the area and was unable to walk towards help due to long-term and ongoing health issues. She did, however, manage to keep warm through the chilly nights by using the heater in her car.
Found about 60km from the nearest town, Lillian was “extremely relieved” to see police on Friday, who were. She was quickly taken to hospital to be treated for dehydration where she remains under observation.
We hope that Lillian’s story serves as a lesson to Aussies nationwide: if you’re going on a road trip, be sure to go prepared, since you never know when your trip might take an unexpected turn. Whether you define “prepared” as having water, wine, or something altogether less Christian, is up to you.