A father and his two young sons survived on rainwater and a small amount of food while they were stranded for 11 days in outback Queensland.
Steven Van Lonkhuyzen and his boys, 7-year-old Ethan and 5-year-old Timothy, were rationing their last slices of bread when they were was rescued on Sunday afternoon by a local cattle farmer, the Guardian reports.
The family set out from their Brisbane home for Expedition National Park, about 664 kilometres northwest (412 miles), on Dec. 11. The trio was planning a four-day camping trip but those plans were derailed when Lonkhuyzen took a wrong turn and his car got bogged, the Guardian said.
The trio was found on Dec. 21 with their car, roughly 300 kilometres (186 miles) from where they were last seen at a service station in Miles, the Queensland Police Service said in a statement.
The head of the police search, acting superintendent Mick Bianchi, commended Lonkhuyzen’s survival tactics in hot and humid conditions. That includes putting out plastic containers to catch rainwater. He managed to capture about 40 litres (8.8 gallons) of water this way.
“Steven told me they had some water with them in the car but that they were lucky there was lots of rain while they were stuck out there,” Bianchi was quoted by the Guardian as saying.
The boys were taken to a hospital to be treated for starvation, but Bianchi said they should be “back to health in a few days or two.”
According to police officials, an attempt will be made to recover the vehicle which “is severely bogged in a very remote and inaccessible location.”
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