'Miracle' pair found alive after days in Australian outback

SYDNEY (AFP) – Two people have survived days without water in Australia’s hot and dusty outback, police said on Monday (Oct 18), ending a frenzied five-day air and land rescue effort.

Twenty-one-year-old Shaun Emitja and 14-year-old Mahesh Patrick were reported missing on Tuesday in the Harts Range area of central Australia.

They had failed to return to the remote community of Hermannsburg after a weekend away.

After their blue Nissan Navara was found abandoned and bogged down in a dirt track, police scoured the countryside using a helicopter and expert trackers.

The pair were feared to be in grave danger given a lack of water and the area’s extreme temperatures of more than 40 deg C in what is still the southern hemisphere’s spring.

But Northern Territory police said Monday that the two men – who had become separated – were found alive and well by an “absolute miracle”.

Officers said teenager Patrick was found in bushland late on Friday and was treated for dehydration and sore feet from walking in the remote environment. Emitja was not found until a day later.

“He is undergoing health checks but appears well,” police said.

It is believed the pair survived without fresh water or provisions.

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