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Perth family surrounded by flooded roads now facing extreme heat in Simpson Desert

Monday November 15, 2021 - 13:15 AEDT
ABC image
Perth couple Ori and Lindsey Zavros pictured at Dreamworld with children Zane and Zoe. - ABC

The mother of a Perth man still stranded in the South Australian outback with his wife and children says the family is keeping in regular contact with police ahead of forecast very hot conditions later in the week.


Perth couple Ori and Lindsey Zavros, and their two young children Zane and Zoe, became stuck in the Simpson Desert late last week following torrential rain.


The couple's customised campervan became bogged about 150 kilometres north-east of Oodnadatta, and they are currently still surrounded by flooded roads.


They are now in possession of a satellite phone, and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) on Sunday conducted a second aerial drop of emergency supplies.


Ori's mum Theo has been able to speak to her son and said she had also been in contact with authorities.


"They can ring us but we can't ring them. Yesterday morning we spoke ? we've been talking to our son," Theo Zavros told ABC Radio's Nadia Mitsopoulos.


"Little two-year-old Zane said, 'Hello' and 'I love you', and of course that made my day, so I know they are well. They are definitely well."


SA Police, which is the lead agency and is working alongside AMSA, is continuing to monitor the situation ? but the status quo has not yet changed.


"We spoke with the police officer today ? the police, by the way, have been brilliant. They've been checking on them three times a day," Theo Zavros said.


"It's very important to figure out their mental state, just in case they need anything."


With temperatures expected to hit 35 degrees Celsius in Oodnadatta on Wednesday, 40C on Thursday and 42C on Friday, Theo Zavros said the main challenge for the family was the changing weather.


"We're a little bit concerned because, we are told, the next couple of days are going to be over 38 degrees," she said.


"We're still anxious, I'm afraid. We were hoping that today they would confirm that, 'Yes, we can come and bring you out'.


"Apparently the plane today observed the area and as far as they're concerned, no, it's still dangerous, it's still water-logged so we're not sure how long they're going to be there."


Theo Zavros said the family has been away from home for months on a trip across Australia and entered the Simpson Desert unaware of the treacherous conditions that lay ahead.


"The ground was quite solid, they didn't think anything of it until they came across this softer sand and of course they found themselves bogged," she said.


"They spent two days being bogged ? they were hoping that another traveller would go by and be able to help them, but obviously not so."


It was at that point the couple activated their emergency EPIRB device, Ms Zavros said.


"They weren't aware at that time that, probably, the roads would have been closed because everything was just so wet and that's when they set the beacon off," she said.


"They are very, very well prepared. They've been travelling for the last year, they've got all the facilities they need. They were definitely prepared because they knew they were going through the Simpson Desert.


"When they were bogged, they had food for the next four days, which was good enough. They've got solar, they've got air-con.


"Even though I was terribly worried, I knew that my son took every precaution."







- ABC

© ABC 2021

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