The Bear essentials for Hunter survival
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.