Miracle in the Outback

08 April 2015 - 02:34 By ©The Daily Telegraph

An 11-year-old autistic boy who disappeared in Australia and spent more than four days alone in dense bush has been rescued after he was "miraculously" spotted from a search helicopter, just hours before a cold front hit the area. In an incredible tale of survival that gripped the nation, Luke Shambrook was found nestled on a hillside near Melbourne, where he had gone camping with his family for the Easter weekend.Luke was last seen at 9.30am on Good Friday and is believed to have survived without food and water.He was finally spotted by Brad Pascoe, an acting police sergeant, who thought he caught a glimpse of something unusual amid the thick scrub and eucalyptus trees."I just, out the corner of my eye, caught a little flash of something," he said."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."Luke, who has limited speech, was unable to communicate but accepted some water and bits of bread roll from his police rescuers, many of whom were close to tears.Shivering and dehydrated, the young lad was wrapped in a blanket, taken out on a stretcher and reunited with his elated family before being rushed to a local hospital."In some ways it's a miracle," said Rick Nugent, a police commander."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. 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. The joy on people's faces; the searchers, the volunteers, the emergency services people, you could just see it."Police, rescue authorities and more than 120 holidaymakers, campers and volunteers from across the region used motorcycles, sniffer dogs, horses, four-wheel drives, jet-skis and aircraft to search through the rough terrain for a little more than four days and nights and hope had begun to fade.

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