A woman rescued after 12 days stranded in Australia’s remote outback said she survived by eating biscuits and drinking from a watering hole.
Tamra McBeath-Riley was with two other people who became stranded when their car got stuck in a riverbed.
The group split up to get help. Ms McBeath-Riley was found near her car but her companions are still missing.
On Sunday, 12 days later, the police said they had found one of the three people and a dog alive near a water hole about a mile away from the abandoned truck.
Unusual tire tracks spotted by a cattle station worker, as well as a note left inside the vehicle, provided a breakthrough for searchers.
The rescued woman, Tamra McBeath-Riley, 52, survived in the 100-degree-plus heat by boiling and drinking groundwater, the police said.
She was airlifted to a roadhouse about 55 miles from Alice Springs, where paramedics found her breaking her fast with beer, cola and french fries, said Andrew Everingham, the regional manager for St. John Ambulance.
She was treated for dehydration and exposure and released from a hospital on Monday.
“We tried many times to try to get out, but just couldn’t get out, the river was just too large,” she said.
“During the day it’s just really hot so we dug ourselves under the car. At night [we] could sleep in the car.”
They used up all their supplies of water, as well as some iced vodkas, biscuits and beef noodles they had in the car.
They eventually found a watering hole, and boiled the water before sieving it through a shirt.
“It was still quite dirty, not hygienic water but it kept them alive,” as told by NT Police Superintendent Pauline Vicary.
Searchers in two helicopters are continuing to look for the other two people, Claire Hockridge, 46, and Phu Tran, 40, who split from Ms. McBeath-Riley about a week ago to seek help.
The two had some water with them when they broke away, though there is “significant concern” for their welfare, Mr. Everingham said.
When the truck first became stuck in the riverbed, the three stayed with the vehicle for a couple of days. But then they decided to set off toward the Finke River, and left a note inside the truck detailing their plans.