Un­lucky camper washed up

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - JESSIE TOL­SON

DUTCH tourist Wi­etske Van Der Hei­den braved a cold night out in the rain when flood­wa­ters washed away her camp­site last Thurs­day night.

Ms Van Der Hei­den was camp­ing be­side the Mowbray River by her­self when she was wo­ken by the storm.

“I woke up at 3am to feel my tent mov­ing, I thought some­body was out­side shak­ing my tent,” she said.

“When I got out of the tent to in­ves­ti­gate and I was stand­ing in water that was ris­ing re­ally fast.

“My tent started to drift away, so I quickly grabbed one of the strings at­tached to it and tied it to a tree.

“I only had time to grab two of my bags while ev­ery­thing else washed away and I ran up the high­est hill I could find, which wasn’t too high, and sat there for the night in the rain.

“Ev­ery now and then I would shine my torch on my tent to check it was still there - my phone had no re­cep­tion so I re­ally didn’t have much of a choice.

“I sat and waited un­til the sun came up and started walk­ing in the di­rec­tion of the road.

“I had to swim a bit with my bags over my head un­til I could reach the ground and con­tinue walk­ing.

“When I fi­nally made it to the road, some lo­cals stopped and picked me up and took me to their home so I could shower and dry off.”

Ms Van Der Hei­den said she found it a lit­tle scary but wasn’t too wor­ried and only now re­alises how bad it could have ended.

“I only lost things that are eas­ily re­placed like cook­ing equip­ment and clothes,” she said.

“I’m just lucky I got up that hill to wait it out.”

Photo by AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

Un­lucky Camper: Wi­etske Van Der Hei­den

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