Woman found in Australian Outback, her two friends still missing

Cheryl Sanders
December 3, 2019

"So to find that's not the case is worrying", Ms McBeath-Riley said. Once they reached the watering hole, they used a T-shirt to filter the unclean water, she said.

Just one person remains missing after a pastoralist found Phu Tran, 40, in the Palmer Valley area south of Alice Springs this morning.

The trio left a note on their vehicle letting potential rescuers know which way they'd headed, and eventually came upon a cattle water hold from which they could drink.

The group and Ms McBeath-Riley's dog, Ray, had been travelling in remote territory just south of Alice Springs when they found themselves stuck in the bed of the Hugh River.

McBeath-Riley said they had stayed by their vehicle for three days and tried to free it, but then ran out of supplies, having consumed the six liters of water, 10 iced vodka cans, beef noodles and biscuits they had taken with them.


"They had very limited food-they had a packet of biscuits and some beef noodles between them and that obviously didn't last them very long", she told the ABC.

The group eventually found a nearby watering hole and boiled water before sieving it through a shirt.

"Because of the terrain that they have gone missing in, and because we don't have a particularly focused area, we are still doing the helicopters", she told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

She was rescued Sunday after Australian police deployed helicopters to search for the group. The trio stayed together for a number of days but ended up separated in the search for help.

Ms McBeath-Riley said she made a decision to stay behind with dog Raya because she feared the animal would not have survived the trek.


Vicary said authorities are following a single set of footprints through the Northern Territory outback, indicating that Hockridge and Tran had also split.

'We didn't think anybody was searching for us, ' she said.

Mr Tran managed to survive after finding water, and is being taken to hospital where he'll be treated for exposure.

"It was still quite dirty, not hygienic water but it kept them alive", NT Police Superintendent Pauline Vicary told reporters. "The quickest way to get found was to walk, and it's safer if there is two", she added. Mr Tran and Ms Hockridge planned to walk towards the highway.

December 1: The auto is found by a helicopter.


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