A pair of sports fans who got lost in the Australian outback have been found safe and well after spending days without food or water, in what police have described as an “absolute miracle”.
Shaun Emitja, 21, and 14-year-old Mahesh Patrick were separated from each other last week after their vehicle got stuck in the remote region of the Arlparra and Harts Range, in the Northern Territory.
After a desperate search by police and the public, Mahesh Patrick was found in bushland on Friday evening, and Shaun was found 24 hours later.
It is thought the pair had been attending a sports carnival in the area before getting lost, according to ABC News.
They had been without food and water since Tuesday and got separated from each other the next day.
Southern Region Acting Commander Kirsten Engels said that their “ute” vehicle had become stuck and they were unable to free it.
The police officer said they stayed with the vehicle for a day before walking three miles up a hill with an empty jerrycan. But they were forced to retrace their steps after realising they’d gone the wrong way, and that’s when they lost each other.
Mahesh walked about 20 miles before he was found by police.
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Acting Commander Engels said: “Mahesh walked approximately 12km to a fence line and spent the next two days and two nights camping and traversing down that fence line another 7km.
“Miraculously, he was located by community members who reunited him with his community and family.”
Apart from being dehydrated and having feet, he appeared to be in good health.
Officers later found Shaun after debriefing Mahesh.
“They are extremely lucky to be alive – we all know how harsh it is out there,” Acting Commander Engels said.
“[After] what these boys went through, I can hardly believe they have so [few] scars physically.”
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