‘Five tyre blowouts left us stranded in the Outback’

Published: September 14, 2015
Flat tyres in Outback

The prospecting family who survived four days stranded in the WA outback after blowing five tyres in quick succession have spoken of their ordeal.

Lily and Chris Gillis (66 & 65) and their adult son Jonathon were found by their vehicle near Sandstone, 500 kilometres east of Geraldton, during after a massive search operation.

What was supposed to have been a day trip in search of gold turned into a fight for life as the trio  travelled through scrub so dense and so high that it left scratches on their van and tore off a side mirror.

Ms Gillis told Nine News that after their tyres blew, one of them always stayed with their vehicle and they were forced to drink dirty water.

“I was rationing the sausages, the bacon, the eggs,” Ms Gillis said. “In the end it was like, just watching what you eat.”

Jonathon found a pool of fresh water to keep them going by following cracks in the dirt.

Ms Gillis said she was so relieved when she saw the rescue teams she screamed.

“I just nearly burst into tears — I couldn’t believe them,” she told Nine News. “To think we put them through so much, we just want to thank them.”

* What’s your worst run of luck in the puncture department?

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Carol Ann Harstedt
6 years ago

If you are going that remote you really need a sat phone I think. Or some way to call in an emergency.

Tony LEE
6 years ago

Yes, or at least a SPOT or even better a Delorme SE tracker. Only a couple of years since a couple of stockmen died only 17km from the homestead when they got bogged and they had forgotten to take the SPOT which was mandatory requirement by their employers

6 years ago

Piss poor preparation for a trip out led to this debacle. Lost for words with this.

6 years ago

could have, should have packed the blown tyres with spinafex that would have gotten them out of the sh…t


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