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Mother and son survive 10 days in woodland 'thanks to Bear Grylls'

The pair gathered water from puddles and plants to stay alive during bush walk 

Niamh McIntyre
Saturday 14 October 2017 14:56 BST
Michelle Pittman receives treatment at Singleton Hospital, New South Wales
Michelle Pittman receives treatment at Singleton Hospital, New South Wales (7 News)

A mother and son who were lost for ten days in the Australian bush used survival tactics inspired by Bear Grylls, local police have said.

Michelle Pittman and her ten-year-old son Dylan were found in Mount Royal National Park, New South Wales, on Thursday, dehydrated but otherwise healthy.

The mother and son had set out for a trek in the National Park on Monday 2 October, and were the subject of a large scale search and rescue mission after their family reported them missing the following Friday.

Hunter Valley Acting Superintendent Rob Post told “It is amazing 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.

Superintendent Post said the pair had gathered water using techniques learned from adventurer and expert survivalist Bear Grylls.

Missing poster showing Michelle and her son Dylan (Pittman family)

"They managed to get hold of water by licking water off plants and digging water from holes and using leaves to collect it."

It appears they got lost after mistaking dried up creeks for walking tracks.

Police managed to locate Ms Pittman’s car after finding a note in her home with a list of walks she was intending on doing with her son, sparking a four day search of the park, which covers 17,000 acres.

"We had located their tracks on a creek bed and we were tracking them," Superintendent Post said.

"Just prior to us finding them they crawled out onto the road and were picked up by a passing police unit.”

The pair have now been transferred to Singleton Hospital to receive treatment for dehydration and insect bites.

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