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Perth couple reunited after days wandering desert

6 August 2017 10:03 PM
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Perth couple reunited after days wandering desert

A PERTH couple has been miraculously reunited after days wandering the desert.

Anthony Collis, 32, was found sunburnt, badly dehydrated, and covered in cuts, but “alive and well” on Sunday after being reported missing in a remote part of Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

The Perth man was travelling along the Canning Stock Route to Darwin with his partner Debbie Blomfield, 39, when they became separated last Thursday afternoon, reportedly after a disagreement.

Ms Blomfield was found after she had walked about 8km into Georgia Bore Camp late on Thursday. Police said she was disoriented and dehydrated.

The couple’s abandoned vehicle was located on Friday afternoon and police began searching for Mr Collis, with Ms Blomfield’s assistance.

Police came across a very weak Mr Collis, who had surviving by digging holes and burying himself in sand to keep warm during the near-freezing nights, in the remote part of the Pilbara on Sunday morning.

Superintendent Gary Kosovich said police found Mr Collis about 1km from Well 22 after hearing him calling out.

“He was fairly weak at that point, but thankfully he was heard and we responded and located him.”

Mr Collis was taken by helicopter to Newman Hospital dehydrated, sunburnt, and suffering cuts to his feet.

The couple was believed to have been travelling to Darwin, crossing the Great Sandy Desert, the Little Sandy Desert and the Gibson Desert.

According to The Australian, police consider a disagreement between the couple could have contributed to their separation.

Mr Kosovich said the couple was not well prepared for the journey and reminded travellers to always take adequate supplies and stay with their vehicle.

“It is a reminder to anyone travelling in a remote part of WA, particularly on the Canning Stock Route and very isolated regions like that, that you should take a sound vehicle, adequate supplies and a satellite phone or EPIRB.”

Mr Collis’s mother, Karen, thanked emergency services for finding her son.

“All of you guys out searching, too many to thank individually but you are our heroes. Everybody in the family will be eternally grateful to you all.


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