A young couple and their dog have been rescued after being stranded for two days in the outback.
José Merlos and partner Nicky Wong’s original plans were to drive from Cairns to Adelaide through NSW, but with the sudden border shutdowns, they found their plans thwarted.
After the pair decided to detour, their small RAV4 got bogged and, after hours of trying to get the car out, they gave up and began to walk in temperatures reaching the high 30s.
According to Pedestrian, the couple headed to Innamincka, a small South Australian town of little over four streets next to a creek.
“It was so hot, and we were scared, I thought we were going to die,” Merlos said.
“My phone said ‘SOS’ only, and I kept trying over and over again to call for help, but the call wouldn’t go through.”
Leaving handwritten notes along the way, the pair also wrote SOS in the sand roughly 40km south of their car.
At a certain point, Merlos tried to drink his own urine for hydration: “We hardly spoke while we walked because our mouths were so dry… we had little food left but we couldn’t eat it because we had no saliva and couldn’t swallow.”
Somehow surviving two whole days without food or water, the couple were found after a man stumbled upon the notes.
Giving them water and food and a ride to the town of Innamincka, the man known as ‘Craig’ saved their lives.
“Craig told us he only took that road once every six weeks, and we had another 25km to walk to get to Innamincka. If he hasn’t found us, we would have perished.”