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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 October 2006, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK
Britons in ravine plunge ordeal
Marion and Glenys Hounsome's crashed car
Marion and Glenys Hounsome were trapped after their car overturned
A UK woman with multiple sclerosis and her 71-year-old mother spent almost three days in a ravine in New Zealand after their car plunged over the edge.

Marion Hounsome and mother Glenys, from Kettering, Northants, were left trapped near Fox Glacier on South Island.

Marion, who now lives in Christchurch, New Zealand, said they survived on supplies for a trip round the island.

They were discovered by an Australian tourist and are recovering in hospital but were not seriously hurt.

Marion, who is in a wheelchair with MS, said she was not sure how the vehicle came off the road.

Their car was overturned and they attempted to call out for help to passing motorists but it was not until the tourist stopped to take some photos that they were rescued.

Rescue operation

Marion told Radio New Zealand: "We weren't physically able to battle our way through to the bank and climb back up to the road.

"I could see the road, I could see cars going along it, and I was shouting for so long and just nobody was hearing anything.

Fox Glacier, New Zealand map

"So I thought we just need to try and get somewhere where we can be seen and so that's why we decided to start trying to go downwards because at least we could slide down there if nothing else and I was hoping we might find a creek at the bottom and we could follow it along and find a road.

Then she heard a car door slam from up on the road.

"I started shouting and it was incredible, somebody answered," she said.

A helicopter eventually winched the pair to safety in a two-hour rescue operation.

"At night it was very cold," said Marion. "We didn't have food but we had a bit of liquid and when we set off down the mountain I put any warm coats and jumpers we had in a bag and all the liquid we had and we pushed that down the mountain with us."

She admitted it had been a "bit of a baptism of fire" for her mother on her first visit to New Zealand but hoped she would not be totally put off the country.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The two trapped women tried to attract attention



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