The crate escape: How one Welshman tried to travel home from Australia as freight

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Ben Chapman

A Welshman who tried travelling home from Australia by transporting himself as freight is hoping to track down the friends who helped seal him into the crate.

Brian Robson was just 19 when he felt homesick while working Down Under and realised he didn't have enough money to pay for a plane ticket home in 1965.

Thinking outside the box, he stumbled upon the idea of travelling back home in one.

Robson rewatches old footage of himself during his crate escape. Credit: ITV News

"Early in the morning, I got in there, wriggled around and put my knees up," said Mr Robson as he recalled the plan.

“After saying my goodbyes, they nailed the lid, the truck came and picked me up and put me on a truck.

“The package had ‘keep this way up’ on it, but immediately they put me upside down. So I was standing on my neck and my head for up to 23 hours really.”

However it didn’t quite go to plan. Robson ended up in the crate for nearly five days and was barely alive when he was eventually found.

An LA airport worker poses in the crate where Robson was found.

In fact, he wasn't even sent to Wales. The teenager ended up in Los Angeles, where he was found by an airport worker.

Looking back at his daring escape, Mr Robson said: “The more I look at this, the more I just find it completely unbelievable that I did it. I can’t believe this is me now.”

Despite nearly losing his life, he doesn’t regret the epic voyage. He said: “I made my mind up. And I was suffering.”

Robson, now 76, is hoping to reconnect with the two Irish friends who helped him perform the crate escape.

“I’m not the most generous of people but I’d buy them all the beers they want. It would mean a lot."