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Dublin: 9°C Saturday 27 February 2021

'A miracle': Boy with autism survives 4-day ordeal lost in Australian bushland

The 11 year old was found alive and well today.


AN 11-YEAR-OLD autistic boy, missing since Good Friday in Australian bushland, has been found alive and well.

A massive search was launched four days ago near Lake Eildon in Victoria for Luke Shambrook after he disappeared from his family’s campsite.

Local police spotted the boy this morning from a helicopter above the bush, about three kilometres from where he was last seen.

Source: ABC News (Australia)/YouTube

Acting Sergeant Brad Pascoe was in the man in the chopper who “caught a little flash of something” out of the corner of his eye.

“It wasn’t much but it was enough to make me get the guys to turn the aircraft around. We were able to train the camera in and confirm it was Luke. We were just absolutely over the moon,” he told ABC News.

A short time later, Luke was reunited with his family and is now receiving medical treatment for hypothermia and dehydration.

His survival over four days in dense forest has been described as a “miracle” by police.

“You will have all seen the terrain here, how thick it is, how cold it’s been of a night. We’ve had rain most of this morning,” Victoria Police Acting Commander Rick Nugent told reporters at the site.

To spot him now is an absolute relief. And the joy by all of us that he’s been found is just hard to describe.

“An 11-year-old boy, challenged as he is with his autism, he’s a courageous, resilient, strong young man.

Everyone is overwhelmed by the news… the longer it went the more challenging it was going to be for us. To find him safe and well… is just wonderful news.

The search team were given new hope on Monday evening when they found a cap belonging to Luke. The discovery allowed them to narrow and focus the search to a particular area.

Earlier, they had deployed a team of divers to search the lake as Luke was known to be fascinated by water, as well as finding new hiding places.

His family had also said that Luke might not respond to searchers’ calls and may not even have realised he was lost.

Police, some of whom were crying with joy and relief at the scene, thanked all those who helped in the search over the weekend, adding that they appreciate the “immense amount of community support”.

With AFP 

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