A South Australian man has been found alive after getting stranded in the Northern Territory outback for almost two weeks. Phu Tran, 40, is the second person of the trio to have been found alive after their car got stuck in the riverbed and they split up to find help. Claire Hockridge remains missing and is believed to be severely dehydrated, having been stranded in the outback for the past 13 days.
Tamra McBeath-Riley, 52, was the first one to be located during an aerial search on December 1 when police found the vehicle stuck in the Hugh River. North Territory police said that she was found in good condition, as she kept herself hydrated by boiling and drinking groundwater found in the area. She was later transported to the Alice Springs Hospital for observation.
On December 2, McBeath-Riley interacted with reporters outside the hospital and said that their car couldn’t get out as the river was too large. She said that the trio used to sleep inside the car in the night and sit under the car during the daytime due to extremely hot weather. The group decided to split in different directions looking for help after they exhausted their supplies, including biscuits, beef noodles and vodka drinks.
Tran and Hockridge headed for the highway and the former decided to follow the fence line. He walked for two days along the line which took him 12 kilometres away from the vehicle. Tran approached a farmer on December 3, the day he was found, and got some water to drink.
Police have ramped up the search efforts by deploying two helicopters to cover a search area 23 km from the Stuart Highway where Hockridge is believed to be present. After rescuing Tran, Police have used the inputs provided by Tran to narrow down the search area to find Hockridge.