Sunday, March 27, 2016

Dr. Chen Au Peh gets food poisoning, bogs plane in Lake Eyre and then walks 70km to safety

Dr. Chen Au Peh then walked 70km in 18 hours.

Dr. Chen Au Peh’s plane, where it landed — and got stuck — in Lake Eyre, in the state's Far North. 

An Adelaide doctor suffering food poisoning says he feared he “wouldn’t make it” after his plane became bogged in Lake Eyre — but walked 70km in 18 hours in an extraordinary tale of survival.

Dr. Chen Au Peh, a kidney specialist, bogged his light plane after he was forced to land about 2km from the lake edge after food poisoning symptoms struck on Saturday afternoon.

He had stopped for a meal at Coober Pedy, before flying east about 160km where he refuelled filled up at Williams Creek on the western edge of the 9500sq km salt lake.

Dr. Peh was forced to land shortly after takeoff after suffering excruciating pain.

The Royal Adelaide Hospital renal specialist said he walked 70km through the night to find help before flagging down a motorist who came to his rescue.

He told The Advertiser on Sunday night that he was fortunate to survive the ordeal.

“There were a few quiet moments when I thought I wouldn’t make it and I could not call my wife,” he said.

“I am pretty tired. I’m looking forward to a well-earned meal. I have not had any sleep for 24 hours and I’m pretty lucky to be alive.”

Dr. Peh said his precarious position was made even worse because the area had no phone coverage and he was unable to call for help.

“I was sad I could not call my wife to let her know I was in trouble,” he said.

Dr. Peh said he had only a small wattle bottle that he was able to fill up at a creek he came across during his journey.

Pilot Trevor Wright, founder of Wrightsair in William Creek, helped find the plane after Dr. Peh’s rescue.

“It is a remarkable story, really. To walk 70km and survive,” said.

Dr. Peh stayed Sunday night at William Creek and intends to return home to Adelaide on Monday, to be back at work on Tuesday.

In January, two men became stranded in SA’s Far North after their light plane’s single engine failed during a scenic flight over Lake Eyre. They were eventually rescued after burning a tire.

Original article can be found here:

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