A helicopter is on its way to rescue a ‘vanlife’ family stranded in the South Australian outback for eight days after their vehicle became bogged during heavy rains.
A mission to rescue the Zavros family from the Simpson Desert finally kicked off on Tuesday after efforts were stymied by poor weather conditions.
A SA police chopper is racing towards the desert to collect parents Orios and Lindsey and their children Zoe and Zane and take them back to Olympic Dam Airport.
The emergency team left Port Augusta around 10am local time and is expected to reach the family within two hours.
A young Perth family has been stranded in the Simpson Desert in South Australia for eight days – with this their eerie last Instagram post before disaster struck
Posts on the family’s Instagram account shows little Zane and Zoe enjoying a swim in Fraser Island, a paddle-board in the Whitsundays and moments of everyday life in the van
The Zavros family set off an emergency beacon on Friday morning after their campervan became stuck about 150km north-west of Oodnadatta.
The beacon led to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority sending a plane from Melbourne’s Essendon Airport to deliver essential supplies to the Perth family.
Along with food and water, DVDs, sweets and nappies were included in the delivery, as well as a letter from Mr Zavros’ parents.
Mum Theo and dad Lagis Zavros spoke with their son and his family on ‘a very crackly satellite phone’ on Sunday.
They were hugely relieved to find the family is coping well with their predicament.
Orios, Zane, Lindsey and Zoe Zavros (pictured) have been travelling around Australia in a campervan
‘If you could pick the worst place in Australia to break down it would be there,’ Lagis Zavros told The West Australian.
Mrs Zavros said the four-hour wait to get confirmation her family was safe had been ‘hectic and horrible’.
AMSA and SA Police are coordinating a rescue effort which will begin when weather conditions improve in the coming days.
Though flying the family out of where they are stranded was considered, the preferred option is to dig their campervan out of the mud so they can make their own way out – but conditions still aren’t good enough.
The Zavros family could be stranded for another two weeks after their van became bogged (pictured), but supplies have been dropped to them
Mrs Zavros said three-year-old Zoe and two-year-old Zane were both coping well, but that the older child is more sensitive and understands some of what is going on.
Zane told his grandmother on the call: ‘Yaya, I love you’. Yaya is Greek for grandmother.
Mr Zavros said the family waited two days before setting off their emergency beacon as they had hoped someone would be travelling past.
But when that didn’t happen they realised they needed to alert the authorities about what happened.
Recovery efforts on land have been hindered by bad weather with police statements estimating the family could be stranded for weeks.
‘Vanlife’ couple Orios and Lindsey Zavros and their children Zoe and Zane (pictured) are currently stranded in the Simpson Desert in outback South Australia
The cold front responsible for the heavy showers hit South Australia on Wednesday, bringing gale-force winds and a near-record amount of rain.
The wild weather caused power outages in Adelaide and the Alberga River in the state’s far north to flow for the first time in 18 months.
The family has been careening across Australia since November 2020, with the modified vehicle taking them from the west coast of WA, across the south and east of South Australia, Darwin, and Queensland.
They documented their outback adventures in their ‘truck and home built camper’ on an Instagram account Trucking Oz.
The account boasts more than 4,000 followers with an accompanying YouTube channel also giving followers an inside look at the highs and lows of van life.
Mr Zavros built the modified Mitsubishi Canter (pictured) the family calls home from scratch
Source: Daily Mail UK