News State QLD News Search for missing backpacker in bushland ends with miraculous survival

Search for missing backpacker in bushland ends with miraculous survival

tully korean woman missing bushland
Joohee Han was winched to safety on Thursday. Photo: Queensland Police
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A Korean tourist who was missing for a week has been found alive and well after a search in treacherous terrain in far north Queensland.

Authorities said Joohee Han, 25, was very dehydrated and a helicopter with a medic on board had picked her up about 12.15pm.

Inspector Steve Kersley said the woman was found by soldiers and police officers, who were searching an area after reports that screams for help were heard on Saturday.

He said the woman had no visible injuries apart from severe dehydration and had now been taken to hospital for further assessment.

“She’s walking. She had a raincoat with her, so that obviously assisted her greatly in keeping her warm,” Inspector Kersley said.

Surviving is a miracle, I can tell you.”

“Six days is a long time to be lost in the bush, particularly when you have no bush skills.”

Inspector Kersley said earlier the bushwalk was known for being dangerous and difficult.

tully korean backpacker missing
The track was not used frequently, SES area co-ordinator Eleanor Rosam said.

“There have been people lost on this mountain,” he said.

“There’s some big crevices on the back side of the hill, which are quite deep … it’s very difficult country to find people in.”

Senior Constable Jane Moran said Ms Han’s friends had raised the alarm yesterday, almost a week after she failed to return to her backpackers’ accommodation.

“She sent a message to a friend saying she was going to do a walk up Mount Tyson at 11 on Friday morning and nobody has heard from her since then,” she said.

korean backpacker missing tully bushland
Around 20 volunteers and a rescue helicopter combed through bushland. Photo: ABC

“Her friends came into the police station yesterday and reported her missing and we commenced a search.”

She said police officers, State Emergency Service (SES) crews and a rescue helicopter started searching the area.

SES area co-ordinator Eleanor Rosam said 20 volunteers had helped comb through bushland, behind the township of Tully.

“The terrain is very difficult. It is a track that is not used very frequently so it is not in the best condition,” she said.