Romanian tourist lost in Australian desert calls home for help


A Romanian tourist lost in the harsh Australian Outback for six days managed to raise the alarm by calling home when he stumbled into a rare patch of mobile phone coverage.

The man, aged 44, was located by an Australian search and rescue crew, after three days with no food or water in the 40C degree heat of the Northern Territory desert.

Police said he was incredibly lucky to have been found by rescue crews.

The man, who has not been named, set off from Uluru on a 45 kilometre trek to Lake Amadeus with just four litres of water.

En route he became dehydrated and disoriented and decided to turn back. He was reported to be so exhausted that he had abandoned his backpack and belongings and crawled the last few kilometres.

However, he kept his mobile phone and GPS equipment and managed to alert relatives in Romania that he was in trouble, giving them his coordinates. They in turn contacted his relatives in Australia, who called the police.

Officers in a helicopter eventually spotted him huddled amongst the rocks dotting the red desert of central Australia, 22 kilometres from Yulara.

He is now recovering in Alice Springs Hospital.

Northern Territory police spokesman Detective Senior Constable Kerry Harris said the man, who had trekked through South America and Asia, was extremely lucky to have survived the ordeal.

Three people have disappeared in the same area over the past few years.