A hiker has been found after going missing for five days in Victoria‘s Grampians National Park. According to the ABC, Melbourne man Julio Ascui last made contact with his family on December 29 before his reemergence today.
Dave Handscombe from Parks Victoria, who spotted Ascui, told the ABC that Ascui’s fondness for taking “selfies from high points” helped them track him down, using the photos he posted to social media to figure out where he had been hiking:
We got up onto the escarpment, onto a high point to get a better vantage point, and we could see a figure in the distance. Initially we thought it was one of the other family members […] and then he started yelling out to us waving his hands, and we responded and he said his name was Julio and he’d been out there for five days.
Miraculously, the 50-year-old said he was feeling “really well“, just a little thirsty, after having been missing in the bush for nearly an entire week. Ascui said that he’d been getting water every day from a stream that he found.
Victoria Police sergeant Karen Baine, Ascui had become lost after trying to reach a vantage point that was off the track:
He said he got to the top of the ridge and saw a beautiful spot that he wanted to go and have look at, and there’s no track up there, so he’s just wandered off to try to find it, turned around and he was lost. He spent the last five days trying to find his way back.
Baine also said that Ascui had been taken to Stawell Hospital to be assessed for injuries, having suffered dehydration, some bad scratches to his legs, and having lost around 8 kilos.
Friends, if you’re going for a bit of a bushwalk, always remember to bring plenty of food and water, stick to the trail if there is one, and if there isn’t, bring at least a compass and a topographical map, if not a GPS. Be safe out there, this country is big, confusing, and very hot.