Woman lost in Australia survived on tree moss

2016-01-13 21:06
(File, iStock)

(File, iStock)

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Sydney - A Dutch woman lost in a thick forest in south-eastern Australia survived using mud as sunscreen and river moss as a blanket, police said on Wednesday.

Veronique Biunkens, 41, was found by police in bushland next to a creek after surviving five days and nights in the open, Victoria police spokesperson Paul Turner said in a statement.

Turner said she had not eaten any food for five days and survived solely on water from the creek bed. The spokesperson called the area "remote" and the terrain "dense and unforgiving."

"Veronique also built a small shelter, between two trees, from bush and bracken and covered her skin with mud to protect herself from the sun," Turner said.

"To stay warm at night, she stuffed her clothes with tree moss, saying it acted like a doona [duvet]." 

Victoria Police Inspector Mark Edwards praised her for using "some bushcraft to keep herself alive."

It was a good thing she stayed in one spot once she realized she was lost, he told local broadcaster ABC.

Biunkens was staying at a Buddhist retreat when she left for a walk on Thursday. The centre notified the police only on Monday.

Despite the ordeal, she did not need hospital care, the police said.

A leading Australian bush survival expert, Bob Cooper, said her quick-thinking "bushcraft" skills saved her life.

"When you're in this sort of situation, your priorities are water, warmth, shelter, signals and last of all, food," he told ABC.

"You can go around 26 days without food before you see any muscle deterioration, but it's water that becomes the substitute for food."

Read more on:    australia  |  netherlands

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