Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

‘I was an idiot’ admits Briton lost in outback

A British teenager who was found dehydrated and freezing after 12 wintry days lost in Australia's wilderness said he wrote farewell notes to his family and expected to die of starvation.

Jamie Neale (19) told Australia's 60 Minutes television programme that he was “a total idiot” to venture unprepared into the Blue Mountains, 60 miles west of Sydney.

“In the UK you can walk for a day and you'd end up in a pub,” Jamie said yesterday. “Out here, you can get lost so easily. You should respect the fact, be more prepared and think about what you are doing a lot more.”

Speaking on the programme, which paid him 200,000 Australian dollars (£98,000) for his story, Jamie added: “The lowest thing that I thought was going to happen would be that I would starve to death. That thought did terrify me.

“I had actually written some goodbye notes and things to family saying sorry, explaining how I'd got lost and different things like that,” he said.

Two hikers happened upon Jamie last Wednesday and he spent two days in hospital for treatment of dehydration and exposure.

Jamie and his father, Richard Cass, threw a party for rescue workers when he was released on Friday. Mr Cass has said that any money earned would be donated to the searchers.

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