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Father and 2 young sons rescued after being lost in wilderness for 10 days

By Mason White 11:21 AM December 23, 2014
Steven Van Lonkhuyzen with his sons 

By: Chan Yuan
A man is grateful to have survived with his two young sons in the wilderness for 10 days.

The father was stranded with his two young children in the Australian wilderness after taking a wrong turn.

Steven Van Lonkhuyzen rationed food for his 5 and 7-year-old sons, and survived on rainwater, which he collected in order to stay alive.

After Van Lonkhuyzen took the wrong turn, his four-wheel drive vehicle got stuck in mud while he was trying to drive from his home in Brisbane to Cairns, according to Queensland Police Acting Superintendent Mick Bianchi.

Farmer Tom Wagner finally found the family in the remote Expedition National Park after 10 days, when they were down to their last few slices of bread.

“They were pretty hungry by the time I got to them, and they were very happy to see me,” Wagner said.

The boys were taken Taroom Hospital, where they were said to be in stable condition.

While in the wilderness, Van Lonkhuyzen tried to attract attention by placing high visibility elements around their vehicle and lighting fires, according to officer Bianchi.

“The boys have lost some weight and are a bit emaciated, but will be nursed back to health in a few days,” Bianchi said.

There are not many people in the area as it is the off-season for the Expedition National Park, where weather conditions are extreme this time of year.