One of the stars of Seven’s House Rules is preparing to be reunited with his family after days stranded in the outback.
FIFO worker David Clarson crashed on the way to a mine site, before embarking on a 50-kilometre walk to find help.
It was a far cry from the glamour of his reality TV appearance in 2018 – and an agonising wait by the phone for loved ones.
For two days, his wife and House Rules co-star Chiara Clarson could do nothing.
“I felt helpless, just felt absolutely helpless, just sitting there going, do I get in the car, do I drive … what do I do?” she said.
She’d received a call from Dave’s boss at his mining job asking where he was after he failed to show up for work.
Fearing the worst, she had to keep it together for the couple’s three children.
“That hardest part was literally, not saying anything to the kids, and them seeing me crying and asking me ‘why are you crying mummy, why are you crying?’
“And I’m like ‘oh mummy’s being emotional’.”
During this time David was in the middle of a 50 kilometre trek through Wheatbelt bushland.
He’d crashed his car after taking a wrong turn while following his GPS.
Without any phone reception, he started walking.
When he eventually ran out of the water he had with him, he resorted to drinking water from rain puddles.
After two days he arrived at work, bruised, dehydrated, and disoriented – but alive.
He was taken to Southern Cross Hospital for treatment.
“Just hearing his voice obviously was just a huge relief,” Chiara said.
A bedside FaceTime with nine-year-old daughter Taya put the rest of the family at ease.
David is due to arrive home by plane on Thursday night, but his car is still lost in bushland.
Southern Cross officer-in-charge Blake Ashurst said Clarson’s story was a reminder for people not to “blindly” follow their GPS in remote and regional areas.
“When you’re that far out in the middle of nowhere, you’ve got to double-check it with the map at least to make sure it makes sense,” he said.