Saved by a hand-written note: Waroona man rescued after three weeks stranded in WA outback

Phillip Blampied's rational calm allowed him to survive weeks in the harsh WA outback but it was a simple hand-written note that led rescuers to him.

The 61-year-old from Waroona, just south of Perth, took off for the Pilbara in his 1998 Nissan Patrol in late December for a summer four-wheel driving trip.

He made his way to the famous Canning Stock Route - a track that runs from Halls Creek in the Kimberley to Wiluna in the mid-west of WA.

But he ran into trouble just days into his journey.

Running low on both fuel and water supplies, he stopped at one of the 51 wells along the track to refill.

He pulled into well number four only to find it was bone dry, so instead turned back towards well number six - where he knew there was sufficient water and shelter from the extremely tough outback conditions.

However, his car ran out of fuel just short of well five.

From the chopper. Photo: WA Police

From the chopper. Photo: WA Police

After staying with the vehicle for a number of days, Mr Blampied packed up his tent, food and the water he had left and made the 12-hour trek on foot to well six.

The experienced traveller left a note at the car to alert potential rescuers of his location - a decision that helped police track him down and might have saved his life.

"Have gone back to well 6, out of fuel!" he scribbled, along with the date and time.

Mr Blampied stayed at well six until his supplies ran out, forcing him to return to his vehicle for more perishable food items.

Mr Blampied's makeshift camp at well six. Photo: WA Police.

Mr Blampied's makeshift camp at well six. Photo: WA Police.

However, on his return to his makeshift camp, a giant downpour caused by cyclone activity in the region made it impossible for him to continue on.

He eventually returned to his vehicle one last time on January 24 - writing a final letter stating that he was returning to well six and could survive only one more week.

Fortunately, help was already on the way after it was reported Mr Blampied was a week overdue in returning to his Waroona home.

WA Police said the conditions made it difficult to search the area.

"The area [the vehicle] was found in had received a large amount of rainfall during January due to the cyclone activity," a spokesperson confirmed.

"Road conditions thwarted the efforts of Wiluna Police to drive the Canning Stock Route to check the area - the vehicle was only able to travel between 10 and 30 kilometres per hour."

Safe. Phil Blampied's and his rescuers. Photo: WA Police

Safe. Phil Blampied's and his rescuers. Photo: WA Police

An aerial search found his vehicle just before 4pm on Sunday, January 26.

The following morning, a charter helicopter was dispatched and rescue teams searched Mr Blampied's car for signs of the missing man.

Thanks to his note, he was found on foot near well six around 8.30am on Monday.

Police shared photos of the moments after Mr Blampied was located, as well as his makeshift camp and the notes left at his vehicle.

After more than three weeks stranded in the unforgiving WA outback, having survived heavy rain as well as temperatures that climbed well above 40 degrees, he appeared relieved to be in the company of his rescuers.

WA Police have used the incident to remind travellers of the importance of carrying aPersonal Locator Beacon in remote areas to alert authorities to problematic situations quickly.