SHARON Spiegel has local emergency services to thank for saving her life after she was lost and disoriented at Cape Bridgewater on Tuesday night.
Ms Spiegel, 62, visiting Portland from Brooklyn, New York City, was out taking in the beauty of the Petrified Forest and Blowholes at Cape Bridgewater with a Portland friend when she lost her way.
At about 4.30pm her friend returned to her car and Ms Spiegel wandered off, taking photos along the way.
After waiting for about 30 minutes for Ms Spiegel to reappear, her friend decided she needed to contact Victoria Police. So alerted two friendly electricians at the Blowholes car park of the problem, in case her friend came back, and drove to the Bridgewater Bay Café to raise the alarm.
After darkness fell, the police called the Portland unit of the State Emergency Service and also a helicopter with searchlights. An air ambulance helicopter was also deployed, in case the woman had been severely injured in a fall and had to be transported.
About 8.30pm Ms Spiegel was found by members of the SES and a farmer who owned land on the Cape. She had walked 5.5 kilometres from where she was last seen to where she was found, on the seal colony boardwalk, but walked many more kilometres.
On top of darkness and unfamiliar terrain, Ms Spiegel also had gale force winds, rain and sleet to deal with.
Read more in Friday’s edition of the Portland Observer.