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Family Trapped in an Australian Park Survives 10 Days

Outside Online

After being trapped in an Australian park for 10 days, a man and his two sons were found by a local farmer. 

Steven Van Lonkhuyzen, 37, and his two sons, ages 5 and 7, were trapped in an Australian park for 10 days before being rescued.

The family left Brisbane, Australia, on Dec. 11, with the intent of doing some camping on their way to Cairns, when heavy rains trapped them in an Australian park.

While driving their Mitsubishi Pajero through Expedition National Park, the family made a wrong turn and muddy roads claimed the mobility of their car. With no cell reception and a broken two-way radio, Lonkhuyzen sent up flares, honked SOS signals with the car horn and surrounded the car with high-visibility towels, all in an effort to attract outside help. The family survived by rationing out four days' worth of camping food and by trapping rainwater in plastic containers.

When Lonkhuyzen and his boys didn't show up in Cairns on Dec. 15, police and locals were called up to search for them. Local farmer Tom Wagner had seen the family travel into the park, and when he heard a family was trapped, he immediately went out looking. Wagner used his quad bike to enter Expedition National Park and soon found the family.

"They were very close to running out of food when they were found, and they had 9 liters of water with them in the car that were used up," Superintendent Mick Bianchi, who coordinated the police search, told reporters.

Bianchi claims the rainwater helped save the family while they were trapped in the 417-square-mile park.

The boys and their father were reportedly in good spirits, only having lost some weight. They are recovering in the Tarooom Hospital in eastern Australia, but their car is still stuck in the mud.

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Family Trapped in an Australian Park Survives 10 Days