Empty bottle credited with bush survival

Yang Chen with her rescuers, five days after losing her way walking in the Gold Coast hinterland.
Yang Chen with her rescuers, five days after losing her way walking in the Gold Coast hinterland.

A Chinese student who survived in flooded and dense Gold Coast bushland for five days used an empty milk bottle to collect water and get by.

Yang Chen went missing on Wednesday while walking with a friend in the Tallebudgera Valley and spent the next five nights sheltering in caves until she was found by water police near Gorge Falls on Monday morning.

Sergeant Mitch Gray said Ms Chen was able to keep her hydration up during her ordeal by filling a discarded two litre milk bottle each day.

Sergeant Gray said police were getting increasingly concerned, especially with creeks in the region flooding.

"As these things start getting into the last day you start getting worried," he said.

"You can train a lot to plan for these things but there is an element of luck and a will to live."

He said she credited watching survival and adventure-style TV shows for helping her stay alive, as she knew to stay hydrated and try to keep warm.

The 26-year-old Bond University student and her friend became separated tyring to climb over boulders.

When she tried to walk back to the car park, she panicked when the track she was following ended, Sergeant Gray said.

Police and a local land owner were near Gorge Falls on Monday morning when they found Ms Chen.

Police divers scaled a cliff face before she was rescued.

After her ordeal, she contacted her parents in China, Bond University vice chancellor Tim Brailsford said.

"Yang and I phoned her parents in China who were ecstatic with the news, and overwhelmed with gratitude," Mr Brailsford said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Yang is in surprisingly good spirits and health considering the extraordinary and traumatic experience she has been through."

Despite losing her shoes and surviving in caves, Ms Chen has no serious health concerns.

Her parents acknowledged and thanked the rescuers and hospital staff through Mr Brailsford's statement.

Australian Associated Press