By Neda Vanovac
A man and woman who had been lost for three days and were walking through a remote flooded part of the south-western Northern Territory have been found.
The pair were walking to the flooded community of Kintore after their vehicle became stranded on Christmas Day.
They were part of a group of six people travelling in two cars from the remote West Australian community of Kiwirrkurra to Kintore, about 180 kilometres away over the NT border.
“NT Police and Emergency Services are glad to report that the search team has located the last two missing people. Both are currently at the Kintore clinic receiving medical treatment,” police said in a statement on Wednesday.
An aerial search located two vehicles on Tuesday afternoon and four people were rescued.
Earlier, Acting Superintendent Pauline Vicary said the 30-year-old man and a woman, 27, had left the group and set out on foot for Kintore, 28km away.
A ground search yesterday proved very difficult due to flooded roads, with search parties from both the NT and WA sides of the border getting bogged and aborting the search, police said.
Tourists in shock after flood ordeal.
Meanwhile, a tourist couple have been found safe after floodwaters swept their car down the Hugh River 40km out of Alice Springs yesterday afternoon, police said.
“They managed to get out of the vehicle, one was washed down the river. He managed to get shelter in a tree in the middle of the road and clung onto that,” Acting Superintendent Vicary said.
“The female managed to grab hold of the handle on the car and she held onto the car until it wedged into the tree and then she was washed down a little bit further, but fortunately into a shallower area.”
Two Alice Springs police officers and a member of the public stripped down to their underwear and swam through the raging torrents to rescue the tourists.
Acting Sergeant Kirstina Jamieson said the man is believed to be from Taiwan and was spotted clinging to a short tree in the middle of the river, which was up to 200 metres wide at that point.
He could not speak English and was unable to swim, so the rescue trio swam out to him with a rope and were pulled back to shore.
Officer Zachary Rolfe swam across the river and walked south in search of the man’s partner who is believed to be from Hong Kong.
He swam across the rest of the river to the bank that no one else could get to and he walked about five kilometres probably down that river bank to search for the woman, dressed only in his underpants,” she said.
He found the woman in the middle of a fork in the river, managed to swim with her to shore and then walked her to safety.
The tourists were cold and in shock after their rescue, and were later treated at Alice Springs Hospital for scratches, cuts and bruises, police said.
Police originally believed three tourists had been swept away and one was trapped in the car, which sank.
“The communications out in that area are very difficult, so there was quite a bit of information coming through that was conflicting,” Acting Superintendent Vicary said.
“There was definitely only the two in the car, they were partners, they’ve gone through the water, they thought it was okay and their car stalled and was then swept off the road.”
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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