“It was so sizzling, and we had been scared, I believed we had been going to die,” Mr Merlos stated.
“My telephone stated ‘SOS’ solely, and I saved making an attempt time and again to name for assist, however the name would not undergo.
“I used to be anxious my fiancé Nicky would not make it as she was needing increasingly more breaks to relaxation, and I needed to beg her to maintain strolling.”
The pair grew to become so dehydrated they did not have sufficient saliva to swallow the meals that they had with them. They hardly spoke as a result of their mouths had been so dry, with Ms Wong struggling to stroll.
Determined for some hydration, Mr Merlos tried to drink his personal urine, in addition to muddy water from a cow trough and water leaking from a photo voltaic panel. Loki, an brisk pet who is just not but a yr previous, remained positive all through the ordeal other than being barely dehydrated.
After two days, the couple was saved when a person solely often known as Craig, a distant employee for power firm Santos, got here throughout them at a satellite tv for pc station. He gave them meals and water and drove them to Innamincka to recuperate.
“Craig advised us he solely took that street as soon as each six weeks, and we had one other 25 kilometres to stroll to get to Innamincka. If he hadn’t discovered us, we’d have perished,” Mr Merlos stated.
The pair had been taken to the Royal Flying Physician Service distant clinic the place they had been checked over by nurse practitioner Chris Belshaw, who discovered them to be “a bit emotional” however in “remarkably good bodily situation”. Their automotive was later retrieved with the assistance of a ranger.
“We’re so grateful for Craig and the Flying Physician, we would not be right here with out them,” Mr Merlos stated. “I’ll by no means view life the identical once more, we’re fortunate to be alive.
“If we needed to journey within the outback once more, we’d purchase a satellite tv for pc telephone, and ensure the authorities within the city forward knew to count on us.”
Mr Belshaw stated the pair had been fortunate the temperature was solely within the excessive 30s, which is “decrease than regular”.
“Often it’s 45 levels at the moment of yr. If it was the conventional temperature then I imagine they might have perished,” Mr Belshaw stated.
In a press release on Thursday, the Royal Flying Physician Service urged individuals to take extra precautions when driving within the outback, together with taking bodily maps, bringing a satellite tv for pc telephone (which could be employed) and instruments to dig your self out, and packing sufficient spare water for 4 days.
“When you break down, keep along with your automobile,” the service stated. “A automobile caught in mud or sand is straightforward to see from the air within the station choppers, you may have extra likelihood of being rescued alive should you keep put.”
Get our Coronavirus Replace e-newsletter
Keep throughout the information it’s essential know associated to the pandemic. Despatched Monday and Thursday. Sign up here.
Georgina Mitchell is a courtroom reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.