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World Briefing / Australia

Teen hiker found safe after 12 days

July 16, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A British teenager lost for 12 days while hiking in Australia's Blue Mountains was found alive and well, just hours before his despairing father planned to fly back to England.

Two other hikers happened upon 19-year-old Jamie Neale in the mountains 60 miles west of Sydney, police said. Neale, an experienced hiker, was taken to a hospital for treatment of dehydration and exposure, but appeared fine, police said.

Neale's father, Richard Cass, who had flown in to join the search, was at the airport waiting to board his flight back to England when he got an urgent text message from police.

"It said, 'Phone me, I've got good news.' The words 'good news' told me everything. That was when I knew he was safe," Cass told reporters.

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