Phu Tran and Claire Hockridge who have been missing in a remote area south of Alice Springs.
Phu Tran and Claire Hockridge who have been missing in a remote area south of Alice Springs.

Second missing person found alive in outback

He has been missing in the searing outback heat for two weeks but miraculously Phu Tran has been found safe.

NT Police said Mr Tran was found by a pastoralist Ted Fogarty this morning in the Palmer Valley area, roughly 160 southwest of Alice Springs.

Mr Tran will be taken to Alice Springs Hospital for treatment to exposure.

The police search for Claire Hockridge continues.

Her partner, Tamra McBeath-Riley, was found on Sunday with their dog Raya.

Mr Tran and Ms Hockridge left Ms McBeath-Riley and their water source to look for help after they their ute became bogged two weeks ago.

 

Phu Tran and Claire Hockridge who have been missing in a remote area south of Alice Springs.
Phu Tran and Claire Hockridge who have been missing in a remote area south of Alice Springs.

Ms McBeath-Riley was found in a stable condition, having kept hydrated by boiling and drinking groundwater found nearby.

She was taken to the Alice Springs Hospital for observation.

Yesterday police found a set of footprints they hoped would lead them to the missing pair.

Tamra McBeath-Riley, left, who had been missing since November 19. Ms McBeath-Riley was found on Sunday but searchers are still looking for Claire Hockridge, pictured right.
Tamra McBeath-Riley, left, who had been missing since November 19. Ms McBeath-Riley was found on Sunday but searchers are still looking for Claire Hockridge, pictured right.

Alice Springs Superintendent Pauline Vicary said the friends initially waited with their stranded car, but two days later after no-one came looking for them, they abandoned the vehicle, leaving a note inside to indicate the direction they were heading.

The group walked about 1.5km west, where they found puddles of groundwater from unseasonal showers that have fallen over the dry river system in the past fortnight.

Supt Vicary said for one desperate week they stayed together, gathering the dirty water, boiling it when they could and using a shirt to strain out the sediment.

Again they waited for help but when none came, they decided to split up.

Ms Hockridge and Mr Tran, who had a TomTom device for navigation and a compass, headed north, towards the Stuart Highway, about 20km away.

"We do know that they have left together. We have located one set of footprints which we are now focusing our search area on. But we have not located the second one at this stage," Supt Vicary said.

"It's quite a diverse terrain. There's sandy dunes, there's hard clay, there's areas of dense trees, but there are also rocks and rangers in the area."

She said the group had little food with them - some biscuits and some beef noodles, which would not have lasted long.

Temperatures have nudged 40C in recent days.

- with AAP