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After 12 Nights Lost in Outback, Woman Gets Her Miracle

Tamra McBeath-Riley rescued, but her 2 companions are still missing
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2019 9:05 AM CST
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In this image made from video, an ad for a campsite lines the roadside where a woman was found after being stranded in the Alice Springs area in the Australian Outback.   (Australian Broadcasting Corporation via AP)
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(Newser) – An Australian woman is thankful she's now safe and sound after a nearly two-week ordeal lost in the Outback, but the search continues for her still-missing companions. The BBC and ABC Australia report Tamra McBeath-Riley, 52, set out on Nov. 19 with her partner, 46-year-old Claire Hockridge, their friend, Phu Tran, 40, and McBeath-Riley's Staffordshire terrier, Raya, for a drive in the Alice Springs part of the Northern Territory when their car got stuck in a riverbed. For several days the trio tried to get the car out but couldn't. They then went into survival mode, escaping the heat during the 100-degree days by burrowing under the car, then sleeping in the car at night, huddled together for warmth. They boiled water from a nearby cattle watering hole they'd found, using a shirt as a sieve, and finally ran through all of the rations they had: biscuits, beef noodles, and some cans of iced vodka.

That's when they decided Hockridge and Tran would go for help, while McBeath-Riley would stay behind with Raya, as she feared the dog may not survive the trek. The AP notes McBeath-Riley was found after a local cattle rancher spotted tire tracks and reported his discovery. "As a result of that information, we were able to locate the vehicle, and then from there, they ... located her," Police Superintendent Pauline Vicary says. A Northern Territory Police chopper picked up McBeath-Riley on Sunday; she was treated for dehydration and exposure. The New York Times suggests her dog also survived. Meanwhile, the search continues for Hockridge and Tran. Authorities say they're tracking one set of footprints found in the "diverse terrain" of clay, trees, rocks, and sand, per Vicary. (Read more Australia stories.)

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