Unlucky camper washed up
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.”
Unlucky Camper: Wietske Van Der Heiden