The Bear es­sen­tials for Hunter sur­vival

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - The Everest - ASHLEIGH GLEE­SON

A MOTHER and son sur­vived 10 gru­elling days in dense Hunter Val­ley bush­land thanks to skills they picked up from watch­ing ad­ven­turer Bear Grylls on the TV.

Michelle Pittman and her nine-year-old son Dy­lan Deane, from Sin­gle­ton Heights, went miss­ing on Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 2, dur­ing what was meant to be a short bush­walk at Mount Royal Na­tional Park north of Sin­gle­ton.

But af­ter a fran­tic few days in which their fam­ily and friends feared they would never see them again, the re­source­ful duo were found on Thurs­day — deliri­ous, de­hy­drated and cov­ered in in­sect bites, but oth­er­wise re­mark­ably un­harmed.

Their re­source­ful­ness has as­tounded res­cuers. “It’s quite amaz­ing the way they’ve man­aged to gather wa­ter, they made ref­er­ence to Bear Grylls,” Hunter Val­ley Act­ing Su­per­in­ten­dent Rob Post said. “She men­tioned they had watched the shows and got some tips out of that which as­sisted them. They licked the mois­ture off plants to help keep hy­drated. There were dried-up creek beds where they sourced wa­ter by dig­ging.

“They bounced off each other — she was get­ting weaker but the fact he was there made her stronger.”

Supt Post said Ms Pittman and Dy­lan had showed a true de­ter­mi­na­tion to live.

“It is an amaz­ing story they have ac­tu­ally sur­vived for so long. Even more amaz­ing is that nine-year-old Dy­lan has come out with in­sect bites but quite fit and able — he looks like he could do the whole thing again,” he said.

“Michelle is quite weak and is in hospi­tal re­cov­er­ing.”

Am­bu­lance In­spec­tor An­drew Steen­son said in his 24 years as a para­medic he had never known any­one to sur­vive that long in the bush.

Dy­lan Deane.

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