Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

{Teen, Mum Tell of 14hr Bush Ordeal} {Mum Thanks Crews}

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

{Teen, Mum Tell of 14hr Bush Ordeal} {Mum Thanks Crews}

Article excerpt


WHAT was meant to be a quick morning trip into a neighbour's property to pick up some missing goats with her mum turned into a harrowing 14-hour ordeal for 16-year-old Shanice Looker.

The teen was yesterday recovering in the Warwick Hospital from severe dehydration after spending all of Thursday lost in rugged bushland near Connolly Dam in the Silverwood/Elbow Valley district.

Shanice became lost after she left her broken-down quad bike to search for her mother on foot.

The Connolly Dam Road resident was found about 9.30pm Thursday after the RACQ CareFlight rescue helicopter flew over while she was passed out from dehydration.

The helicopter woke her and prompted her to start shouting for help until she finally heard a reply from three State Emergency Service (SES) saviours - volunteers Matt Sondergeld, Dave "Benno" Bennett and Damon "Damo" Cross.

The SES volunteers then helped her out of the rugged terrain, until they reached a point where a vehicle could pick her up - two hours after Shanice was located.

Mum Melissa Looker said she was also lost in the bushland herself for five and a half hours.

"About 9.30am we both went on the quad bike to bring our goats from a neighbouring property," Mrs Looker said.

"When we found them I decided to walk them home with the dog and told Shanice to take the quad bike home.

"After a while I was getting hot and thirsty and went to the creek to get a drink of water when I said bugger the goats, I'll get them later.

"I decided to follow the creek home but got lost and went round in circles a few times. I was absolutely exhausted and kept staying near the creek for water.

"I was lost for five and a half hours when I came across the quad bike - deserted with no key in it ... then I started to get worried."

Shanice said the quad bike broke down soon after she headed home.

This prompted her to go back into bushland to try and find her mum, who was by now wandering along the creek.

The Lookers only moved to their property, near the end of Connolly Dam Road, in September so were still unfamiliar with the country, Mrs Looker said. …

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