Man rescued after 13 nights stranded in Australian Outback; 1 still missing

(From left) Ms Tamra McBeath-Riley was found late on Dec 1, 2019, while Mr Phu Tran was found on Dec 3, 2019. Ms Claire Hockridge remains missing.
(From left) Ms Tamra McBeath-Riley was found late on Dec 1, 2019, while Mr Phu Tran was found on Dec 3, 2019. Ms Claire Hockridge remains missing.PHOTOS: NORTHERN TERRITORY POLICE

PERTH (AP) - A second person missing in the punishing Australian Outback for almost two weeks was rescued Tuesday (Dec 3), while the search continued for their missing friend.

Northern Territory Police said Mr Phu Tran was found by a livestock farmer south of Alice Springs. He was taken to a hospital to be treated for exposure.

Superintendent Pauline Vicary said Mr Phu told the farmer he had survived after finding some water.

The trio set out from Alice Springs for an afternoon drive on Nov 19 when their car got stuck in a riverbed in the arid region.

Ms Tamra McBeath-Riley was found late Sunday near a waterhole where the trio had been staying. She received treatment in an Alice Springs hospital for dehydration.

The search continued for Ms Claire Hockridge.

Ms McBeath-Riley told officials that Mr Phu and Ms Hockridge began trekking toward a highway on Thursday, carrying water and walking at night to avoid the desert heat, which came close to 40 deg C in recent days.

Ms McBeath-Riley said she decided to stay at the waterhole with a dog that she did not think would survive a walk to the Stuart Highway, which connects Australia's north and south coasts. They did not know anyone was looking for them.

Ms Vicary said searchers had found one set of footprints.

 

"It's quite a diverse terrain. There's sandy dunes, there's hard clay, there's areas of dense trees, but there are also rocks and ranges in the area," she said.