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British backpacker thought 'pick me up now or do me in'

The British backpacker who went missing in the Australian outback for three days and was "hours away from death" told ITV's Daybreak he reached "a desperate point" where he either wanted to be saved or succumb to the harsh conditions.

Sam Woodhead with his mother being interviewed by ITV's Daybreak. Credit: Daybreak

Sam Woodhead, 18, said rescue helicopters missed an SOS sign he had made from his rugby shorts and thought to himself on the third and final day he was missing, either "pick me up now or do me in."

Speaking from Daybreak's studio in London, Sam's father Peter said it was a "great strategic move of yours not to unpack the contact lens' from your bag two months ago."

The backpacker drank contact lens solution in a bid to stop himself from dehydrating.

His sister, Rebecca, said she expected a "great birthday present" from him and added that her promise of giving her brother a whack "still stands."


  1. National

British backpacker 'very fortunate' to be alive

A British backpacker who went missing for three days in the Australian outback said he felt "very fortunate" to be alive, in an interview with Sky News.

Sam Woodhead was missing for three days. Credit: Family handout

Sam Woodhead became lost after going out for a jog from the Queensland cattle station where he was working.

The 18-year-old lost two stone in weight and survived the blistering 40C heat by drinking contact lens fluid and his own urine.

Woodhead said: "It was a really amazing feeling to be picked up and realise that I was actually going to make it through...and it wasn't going to be the end."

Claire Derry, Sam's mother, said: "His birth was one of the best moments of my life, and this is pretty close to it, getting him back again, because I was pretty convinced it was touch and go. I did an awful lot of praying during that flight."

Backpacker due to be released from hospital

The backpacker who went missing in the Australian outback for three days is due to be released from a Queensland hospital later today.

Sam Woodhead has been recovering there after he got lost whilst out jogging.

Sam Woodhead survived for three days by drinking contact lens solution

The 18 year-old survived by drinking by contact lens solution before being found on Friday and was transferred to a hospital in Longreach where he has been since.


Family of backpacker celebrate

The mother of an eighteen year old student who was missing in the Australian outback for 3 days, said she 'sobbed and sobbed' when she found out he was alive.

Clare Derry was on a flight from Singapore to Australia when the captain came out to tell her the good news that Sam had been rescued.

Sam is on a gap year, and had disappeared while out running earlier this week. ITV News were the first people to speak to his mum when she landed in Australia.

Meanwhile, back here Sam's dad and sister were also celebrating the news, as Paul Brand reports.

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