In May of 2023, a woman referred to by police as simply “Lillian” found herself lost in the dense bushland of Victoria, Australia, after taking a wrong turn during a day trip. She managed to survive for five days by relying on a combination of wine and candy.
The 48-year-old woman from Cheltenham set off on what was intended to be a short day trip to Dartmouth Dam. However, a wrong turn led her down a dead-end road in the Mitta Mitta bushland. As she attempted to turn her car around, it became stuck in the mud. This left her stranded in an unfamiliar and remote area with no cell service to call for help. Lillian found herself faced with the challenge of surviving on her own.
The unconventional survival strategy: wine and candy
Planning for only a two-hour drive, Lillian had limited provisions with her. These included a few snacks, some candy, and a bottle of wine. Interestingly, Lillian is not a drinker, so the wine actually intended as a gift for her mother.
Of course, when you’re lost in the woods with a bottle of wine and no way out, it’s probably pretty easy to become a drinker.
Lillian eventually consumed the entire bottle of wine, using it as her only source of liquid throughout her ordeal. The candy provided some sustenance, albeit in small quantities.
Lillian’s situation was further complicated by health issues that made it difficult for her to walk very far for help. She utilized her car’s heater during the chilly nights. This ensured she stayed warm in temperatures as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lillian’s family reported her missing when she failed to make her daily check-in call. This prompted an extensive search by local authorities. After five long days, a police helicopter spotted Lillian standing on a dirt road, waving her arms for help.
Lillian’s incredible survival in the Australian wilderness serves as a reminder that even in the most challenging circumstances, a combination of resilience, resourcefulness, and…well, wine, can lead to remarkable outcomes.