Elderly man eats grass, makes leaf bed for survival in WA bush

An elderly man says he survived two nights lost in WA bushland with no food or water by eating grass.

Bernie Howell had been on a nature walk with family near Pingelly, in Perth’s south-east, when he went missing on Wednesday.

The 75-year-old, who has the early stages of dementia, was rescued on Friday morning – much to his family’s relief.

Bernie Howell was rescued after two nights lost in WA bushland. Picture: 7 News
SES, police and volunteers had been searching for the 75-year-old. Picture: 7 News

“I just want to thank Police, SES, etc,” Mr Howell’s daughter Danette said, fighting back tears.

“It’s just absolute overwhelming relief.”

The family had gone to Boyagin Rock to explore, given Mr Howell’s daughter and her partner were visiting from NSW.

Mr Howell and daughter Danette. Picture: 7 News

But when the 75-year-old said he’d stop for a rest, he wandered off sparking a massive search.

Police say if they hadn’t found Mr Howell on Friday, the elderly man’s chance of survival would have been grim.

Mr Howell was found five kilometres from where he had stopped for a rest.

He remains in hospital, but suffered only cuts and bruises.

“He’s been eating grass, tried to find water,” Danette said.

“He made a bed out of leaves, he’s just resilient.”

Mr Howell could see rescuers but was too far away to signal for help. Picture: 7 News