Melbourne, July 15 (ANI): An English bushwalker has been found alive 11 days after he went missing in the freezing cold of the Blue Mountains.
Jamie Neale, 19, was found by the NSW Police near Narrow Neck plateau, around 15 kilometres from Katoomba, following a phone call from bushwalkers, and was taken to the local hospital to be treated for dehydration and exposure.
"My heart goes out to the people of Australia for making him come back from the dead," News.com.au quoted Richard Cass, Jamie Neale's father, as saying.
"They are the guys who didn't just hope he turned up, they made him turn up," he said.
The teenager's dad said that he was going to "kick his arse", and joked about killing him for all the trouble he had caused.
"The millions that have been spent on this search, the man hours and woman hours that have gone into it. He is the only teenage in the world who goes on a hike without his mobile phone," he said.
Blue Mountains Parks and Wildlife ranger Arthur Henry said that Neale had survived harsh conditions, temperatures at one stage dropping to minus three, rain and winds gusting to more than 80 kilometres an hour.
"Most of the animals aren't particularity dangerous at this time of the year with snakes in hibernation but the density of the bushland, particularly ion the Jamieson Valley and cedar creek areas can be very thick with a lot of undergrowth and vines," Henry said.
"The creeks would have had plenty of water but food would have been quite minimal.
"There's not much that would have been terribly palatable. Personally I'd be looking for insects and crayfish but there wouldn't be much more than that.
"It's certainly an achievement to survive out there for as long as he did," he added.
Neale had checked into a Katoomba youth hostel on July 2, and the Police were alerted to his disappearance after he failed to turn up for a tour of Jenolan Caves on July 4, which he had paid for.
His personal belongings, including his mobile phone and personal papers, were found at the hostel.
Police were given no more leads until July 12, when a couple came forward with information that they had stopped to take photos of Neale on a remote Blue Mountains outcrop on July 3 before he disappeared along a track.
The couple described Neale as being "in good spirits and good health" during their 10-minute conversation at the outcrop known as the Ruined Castle before he left, saying he was going to Mt Solitary.
The breakthrough led to 15 searchers being winched yesterday into remote areas on Mt Solitary and along watercourses in neighbouring Jamison Valley, with plans to examine Cedar Creek. ANI)