Australian man found after 13 days stranded in outback

Tamra McBeath-Riley

A second person missing in the punishing Australian Outback for nearly two weeks was rescued Tuesday, while the search continued for their missing friend.

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

Tamra McBeath-Riley, Phu Tran and Claire Hockridge went missing in Alice Springs on November 19.

The pair had little food with them, she said.

An air search continued Monday for McBeath-Riley's friends - Claire Hockridge, 46, and Phu Tran, 40 - who reportedly left the waterhole to seek help.

McBeath-Riley said she chose to stay at the waterhole with her Staffordshire terrier because she did not think the dog would survive a walk to the Stuart Highway, which connects Australia's north and south coasts.

"We tried many times to try to get out, but just couldn't get out, the river was just too large", she told reporters outside hospital.

Ms McBeath-Riley was found by helicopter east of Stuarts Well on Sunday afternoon after a tip-off led police to the group's auto, which became bogged in the Finke River.


"She's had a fairly traumatic period of time", Vicary added.

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.

Mr Tran and Ms McBeath-Riley suffered through 40C heat before they were found.

She said she was hopeful Hockridge and Tran would be found, but joked, "I'm sure [Tran] won't want to go four-wheel driving with us ever again". "So to find that's not the case is worrying".

Mr Tran was being taken to hospital for treatment after being found by a farmer in remote land south of Alice Springs, Northern Territory Police said. Her dog's status was not immediately clear.

"It is what it is and you've got to what you've got to do", she said. Police are still searching for the others using helicopters to scan the area.

Police said she was in good condition, and had managed to stay hydrated by boiling and drinking groundwater she had found.

McBeath-Riley told reporters the group initially survived by digging holes under their vehicle to shelter from the sun. "There are sandy dunes, there's hard clay, there are areas of dense trees but there is also rocks and ranges in the area as well".

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