Luke Shambrook: Missing 11-year-old boy with autism found after four days lost in Australian national park

The boy was spotted by police air searches and has been taken to hospital with hypothermia

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The Independent Online

An 11-year-old boy who went missing from a family camping trip in Victoria, Australia, has been found alive by police and is being treated for hypothermia in hospital.

Luke Shambrook, who has autism, was last seen walking away from the Candlebark Campground in Fraser National Park at 9:30am on Good Friday.

He spent four nights alone and lost in a dense Australian forest before a police helicopter spotted him about two miles from his family’s campground.

Victoria Police Commander Rick Nugent said: “We are told that Luke is well, that he is exhausted, he’s suffering from hypothermia and he’s also dehydrated.”

 

Commander Nugent said paramedics had been assessing Luke, whose parents were overwhelmed.

Local police, Search and Rescue, Air Wing, Water Police, Dog Squad and more than 120 searchers had combed the dense scrubland since Friday morning, with fears mounting that the boy could have drowned in a nearby lake.

Searchers had been told that Luke liked to hide in small spaces, leading them to look in small areas such as wombat holes, and that he had a fascination with water, which sent divers into the lake to look for any signs of the boy.

Temperatures fell below nine degrees Celsius during the nights that Luke had been lost and there had been some rain.

 

Victoria Police released a video of the moment Luke was found by air crews and approached by an officer on the ground.

Trent Dann, reporter for 10 News in Australia, tweeted pictures of Luke as he was reunited with his family, commenting that the scene saw “grown men reduced to tears of joy”.

Commander Nugent told ABC news that Luke is a “courageous, resilient, strong young man”.

“An 11-year-old boy, challenged as he is with his autism, he's a courageous, resilient, strong young man,” he said.

“Everyone is overwhelmed by the news. The longer it went the more challenging it was going to be for us.

”To find him safe and well is just wonderful news."

Additional reporting by AP

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