Last updated: 01:00 PM ET, Mon August 24 2015

Lost Tourist Writes Message in Sand, Is Rescued from Australian National Park

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | August 24, 2015

Lost Tourist Writes Message in Sand, Is Rescued from Australian National Park

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It's easy to get lost in the Australian bush, as one tourist recently found out. 

Fortunately, the British tourist who got lost in Jardine River National Park in north Queensland, Australia last month was rescued after crafting a clever message in the sand. 

In a recent blog post, 63-year-old Geoff Keys revealed he swam several miles from his camp along Canal Creek and rather than swimming back, attempted to walk back through the bush. 

"And here is where I made one of the stupidest decisions ever. Instead of turning around and swimming back upstream, I decided to take to the bush and cut across to the track," wrote Keys in the blog post. "It was nearly dark. I had no shoes. What was I thinking of?"

Keys said that he was "convinced the track was nearby, and walking back would have been easier than swimming." 

By 2 a.m. local time on July 28, Keys' friends had reported him missing. And after hearing helicopters in the sky above, Keys decided to write an SOS message in the sand. The message read "HELP 2807" (July 28) and included an arrow pointing to his location. 

"It seemed a good idea to help myself as much as possible, so I got out of the water, found a stick and wrote a message in the sand, just in case the helicopter came down that way. Help, today's date and my direction of travel," Keys said. "I thought this would be enough to get any helicopter that saw it looking in the right place."

Barefooted and without food, a desperate Keys eventually managed to wave down a helicopter. Shortly thereafter, he was airlifted to a nearby hospital.

Despite the embarrassment, Keys came away unscathed. 

"I feel stupid but lucky. I'm sorry about the worry caused to friends and family," Keys wrote.

Given the positive outcome, that's what we call a memorable trip. 

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