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WA Police locate and rescue 60-year-old Rockingham woman lost in Yalgoo bushland for eight hours

Jenny Schon 7 Regional NewsGeraldton Guardian
Susan Buckless is spotted by police drone.
Camera IconSusan Buckless is spotted by police drone. Credit: WA Police

A rescue mission had a happy ending in the Mid West on the weekend after police rescued a 60-year-old camper who was lost in bushland near Yalgoo for eight hours.

Rockingham woman Susan Buckless became lost during a camping trip on Sunday with her husband and a friend. Disoriented, dehydrated, but relieved, the 60-year-old had nothing but a mobile phone with low signal and a near-empty water bottle when she was found.

The trio were camping 8km east of Golden Grove Mine, 50km away from the nearest town of Yalgoo. About 9am on Sunday, Ms Buckless split away from the group during the morning bushwalk.

Police find lost bushwalker Susan Buckless.
Camera IconPolice find lost bushwalker Susan Buckless. Credit: WA Police

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Ms Buckless said she attempted to find her way back to the campsite for a cup of tea when she became lost.

“I tried to stay as positive as I could, I kept thinking I had to get back because I’ve got my husband, my mum, our girls, our grandchildren . . . I had to be found,” she said.

“The more I kept walking, the thicker and thicker the bush was getting and I knew I was lost.”

She was able to contact Triple-0 with weak signal and WA Police launched into search mode.

Mid West-Gascoyne District Inspector Sen. Sgt Jayd Morawski said being on your own in an unfamiliar area for eight hours would have been “quite inhospitable”.

“And then to see the blue uniform walking through the trees to come to her aid, I can just imagine it would have been an amazing feeling for her,” he said.

Lost bushwalker Susan Buckless.
Camera IconLost bushwalker Susan Buckless. Credit: 7 Regional News

Drone footage captured the moment Ms Buckless was saved by three patrolling officers, racing to embrace the lead rescuer in relief.

“It’s an amazing feeling being able to get someone back to their family when they’re in absolute distress and don’t know if they’re going to see through the night,” Sen. Sgt Morawski said.

Police confirmed the 60-year-old woman was not injured and was in fine physical health.

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