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Family of missing Brit backpacker Sam Woodhead found safe and well speak to ITV Daybreak

Published: Fri 15 Feb 2013


Family of missing Brit backpacker found safe and well speak to Daybreak:  
Dad: ‘it’s absolutely fantastic, beyond our wildest dreams...’
Sister: ‘I’m going to give him a bloody great whack...’
The family of the missing British backpacker who has been found safe and well in a remote part of Queensland, Australia said the news was ‘absolutely fantastic’ and ‘beyond their wildest dreams’.
ITV Daybreak broke the news this morning to Sam Woodhead’s father, Peter, and his sister Rebecca that Sam had been found by a rescue team. The 18 year old from Richmond, South West London, had not been seen since Tuesday after going for a run and not returning to his accommodation at a Queensland cattle ranch.  He was staying in the remote town of Longreach as part of an outback adventure. 
A huge police land and air search was launched and police feared the teenage may have become lost and disorientated in the surroundings where temperatures can reach 39C during the day.  
Peter Woodhead told Daybreak: “We heard a message about 4.30am this morning and then Daybreak very kindly rang us about quarter to five I think and gave us really their breaking news which has been absolutely fantastic so,  beyond our wildest dreams.”
Sister Rebecca said Sam had escaped the ordeal with minor sunburn and dehydration, she said: “We think he is in a helicopter on the way to hospital but as far as we know there’s no broken bones, he’s got minor sunburn and dehydration and cracked lips.”
Talking about the last few days since Sam went missing, Peter said: “They’ve been terrible. I suppose the word nightmare these days is much misused really -  this really has been a true nightmare, we’ve been up day and night. 
“We’ve just had so much support from friends and family. I’d like really to put on air the thanks that we give to all the people who joined in with the rescue effort I think over 200 volunteers at one stage, you know many of them have been treated for sunstroke and so on.”
Peter said he had not yet been able to tell his wife the good news yet as she was travelling on a plane to Brisbane to join the search for Sam.  He said: “We have tried to make arrangement for her to get the information on the plane there seems to be some sort of issue with that, so we’re not sure she’s had it.
“Arrangements have been made for her to met in the customs area rather than the general arrivals.”
Speaking about what she will do when Sam gets home, Rebecca said: “I’m going to give him a bloody great whack, I tell you that. There’s a queue trust me.”
Peter also thanked press and his family and friends for all their support in the search. He said: “Thanks you all you guys have been tremendous, all the press and television interest and the support from you the professionals and our friends and family has been a fantastic support to us so thank you.”