On a hot summer’s day in February this year, Simon Rigg was exploring the volcanic crater and wildlife reserve at Warrnambool’s Tower Hill when he got bogged.
It took a park ranger, an SES crew, and two ambulance units almost five hours to free him as the summer sun beat down.
“The next wheelchair will need to be a four-wheel drive one,” Simon says with a chuckle.
The 61-year-old Warrnambool artist may have been wheelchair-bound since an accident more than 30 years ago left him a quadriplegic, but he won’t be kept away from nature.
“I’m much more of a nature person than a people person,” he says.
“I’ve always been the outdoorsy type, interested in the environment. That’s where I get my solace from.
“I used to be a gardener. Now nature gives me the peace of mind to cope with my disability.”
Simon was 28, with a wife and three young children, when he fell 3m from the roof of a hay shed and broke his neck.