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Chopper sent to rescue Perth’s Zavros family bogged in SA’s Simpson Desert

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Steve ButlerThe West Australian
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VideoThe parents of Orios Zavros, who is stranded with his wife and two children in the Simpson Desert, are hopeful they will be rescued this week

A helicopter is “bunny-hopping” its way out into the Simpson Desert to rescue Perth’s stranded Zavros family.

Orios and Lindsey Zavros and their young children Zoe and Zane were in the middle of an around-Australia journey when their self-made camper truck became heavily bogged in the outback after near-record rainfall, flash flooding and gale force winds in regional South Australia.

Mr Zavros’ Perth-based parents, Lagis and Theo, excitedly confirmed on Tuesday that a rescue helicopter was en-route to their family, who had planned to stay with their vehicle but had become concerned because of extreme heat forecast for later this week.

They had been given just two hours to pack their essential gear this morning to prepare for the rescue.

The Zavros’ were watching the progress of the mission online via a radar graphic.

The Zavros family have been stranded since last week.
Camera IconThe Zavros family have been stranded since last week. Credit: Images and footage courtesy of AMSA./supplied

“What we’ve been informed by the police is that the helicopter is having to do a bit of a bunny-hop to refuel at several places because of the distance,” Lagis said.

“It was wearing them out a bit yesterday because the weather was coming in and getting a bit warmer. Even though they are well set up, their air conditioning can only run for about an hour through the solar (equipment) they are running.

“But they were feeling a bit better when I spoke to them this morning.”

The rescue helicopter is expected to reach the family soon and take them back to SA’s Olympic Dam Airport.

A helicopter on its way to rescue the family.
Camera IconA helicopter on its way to rescue the family. Credit: Flightradar

It is still unclear how the family’s Mitsubishi Canter, Mr Zavros’ pride and joy, will be recovered.

Earlier reports suggested the Zavros family - including husband Orios, wife Lindsey and their children Zoe and Zane - would be taken back to South Australia’s Olympic Dam Airport.

There were fears the Zavros family could be stranded for days to come.
Camera IconThere were fears the Zavros family could be stranded for days to come. Credit: Instagram

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said the region was “likely to be flooded and inaccessible for several days”, meaning the family could not get out by road.

“Due to severe wet weather, roads in the area are flooded and inaccessible for several days,” the AMSA spokesman said.

“The remoteness of the location is also hampering ground rescue efforts,” an AMSA spokesman said.

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