Saturday, 07 December, 2019


Woman found alive weeks after going missing near Alice Springs

The surviving pool in the normally dry riverbed thought to be a spring from bedrock so was named Alice Springs in the town of the same name Alice Springs Northern Territory Australia Pacific A creek near Alice Springs in Northern Territory
Bennie Garza | 02 December, 2019, 18:56

The three set out from Alice Springs for an afternoon drive on November 19 and their vehicle became bogged in a riverbed southwest of the town.

An air search will continue on Monday for Claire Hockridge, 46, and Phu Tran, 40, who set off with Ms McBeath-Riley on November 19, for a drive outside the central Australian town.

"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.

The three left Alice Springs to drive in the afternoon on November 19 and their auto got stuck in a riverbed southwest of the city.

"She [Ms McBeath-Riley] has travelled about 1.5km from the vehicle and was in an area where there was some water, so sensibly she appears to have stayed where the water is and has been drinking that and that's probably what's kept her going until we've been able to locate her", Superintendent Vicary said. Now that she knows they're still missing, "I'm anxious to death", she said.

They eventually left the vehicle when their supplies ran out, leaving a note on the auto and finding a watering hole about a mile away. She was airlifted to a roadhouse about 55 miles from Alice Springs, where paramedics found her breaking her fast with beer, cola and french fries, said Andrew Everingham, the regional manager for St. John Ambulance.

Speaking to reporters outside a hospital in Alice Springs, Ms McBeath-Riley said the group had stayed by the vehicle for around three days in an attempt to free it.

Teagen Eden Street, the daughter of Ms Hockridge, said it was thought the group went on a hike initially but failed to return.

She was taken to Alice Springs Hospital to be treated for dehydration and exposure, but her companions are yet to be located. That was my immediate thought.

Rescuers were able to find Ms McBeath-Riley after a cattle rancher spotted tyre tracks in an area that had not been searched yet. "There's sandy dunes, there's hard clay, there's areas of dense trees, but there are also rocks and ranges in the area".

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