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ITV News speaks to mother of backpacker found after three days missing

The mother of a backpacker from Richmond, who's been missing in the Australian Outback for more than three days, has spoken of her relief after he found safe and well.

Eighteen year old Samuel Woodhead was reported missing in Queensland on Tuesday after he never returned from a jog. ITV News' Hannah Emerson-Thomas was the first to speak to his mother Claire, as she touched down in Australia to see him.

Family overwhelmed after missing Brit found

The sister of British backpacker Sam Woodhead, who was found safe and well in the Australian Outback, told ITV's Daybreak she was going to "give him a great whack" when she next sees him.

Sam's father Peter Woodhead thanked all the people who found his son: "We have just had so much support from friends and family. I would like to put on air the thanks we give to everyone who joined in their search effort. He owes his life to them."

Rescue team searched through the night for missing Brit

Alex Dorr, a search and rescue pilot who was part of the team that found missing British backpacker Sam Woodhead, told ITV's Daybreak a helicopter was "scrambled out last night" as they searched in the dark with night-vision cameras in a bid to find him quickly.

He described the area Woodhead went missing in as "very harsh and unforgiving".

Dorr added: "Not that long ago we had a guy who was missing for a much shorter time and he passed away from dehydration."

Dad: Backpacker's discovery 'beyond wildest dreams'

The father of British backpacker Sam Woodhead, who was found safe and well after missing for three days in the Australian Outback, has told ITV's Daybreak his discovery is "beyond my wildest dreams."

Peter Woodhead said the ordeal had been a "true nightmare", while the backpacker's sister Rebecca said he was found with minor injuries including "sunburn, dehydration and cracked lips."


  1. London

Sister's plea for info on teen missing in Australian outback

Sam Woodhead. Credit: Family handout.

The sister of a back-packer who has gone missing in Australia has issued an anxious plea for news on Facebook.

Rebecca Woodhead urged people to contact her "ASAP" if they heard anything from her brother Sam.

She wrote: "If anyone hears from my brother please contact me ASAP".

In another posting, she added: "Thanks so much for all your messages regarding Sam.

"Still no further news but we have the helicopter going out again in the morning, Aus time, and hundreds of people going on a voluntary search party. will keep you all posted."

Sam Woodhead, who is 18-years-old and reportedly from Richmond Upon Thames in Surrey, disappeared on Tuesday afternoon after failing to return from a run.

His mother is understood to have urged police to widen the search on the grounds that her son, an experienced long-distance runner, could have travelled some way from his base, near the town of Longreach.

'British backpacker' missing in Australian outback

Police have launched a land and air search for a British backpacker missing in the Australian outback after he failed to return after going for a run.

The 18-year-old male, named by local media as Sam Woodhead from London, left the cattle station where he was staying at 5.30pm on Tuesday, but was not found to be missing until Wednesday morning.

Local Sergeant Dave Perry told Brisbane newspaper The Courier-Mail that the owner of the property in the remote town of Longreach, Queensland, had "gone to chase him out of bed" but saw it was empty and call the police.

Described as a "health and fitness fanatic", Queensland Police fear the teenager may have become disorientated while running in unfamiliar territory as temperatures reached 39C in the daytime.

His backpack and running shoes were missing from his room but his other belongings, including his wallet, were still there, police said.