Teenager lost in the rainforest survived on TV bushcraft tips
A SCOTS teenager relied on TV bushcraft techniques to survive two nights in an Australian rainforest after becoming lost while trekking.
William Bliss, 19, from Plockton, ate watercress and kept warm using bracken fronds while waiting to be rescued in Otway Ranges national park in Victoria, South Australia.
He had picked up such knowledge from watching survival expert Ray Mears' BBC programmes.
The teenager was reported missing by his girlfriend after he failed to return from a hike near Sabine Falls, on the famous Great Ocean Road, on Tuesday.
A full-scale air and land search was launched, involving 60 officers and rangers as well as search helicopters.
The area Mr Bliss went missing is described as rocky with dense rainforest.
Footprints found in a creekbed helped lead to his discovery on a track near Smythe Creek, south-west of the falls, yesterday morning. Police were concerned because of the area's rough terrain.
By the time they found the teenager at 9:20am local time yesterday he had been exposed to the elements for almost 48 hours.
He was taken to Apollo Bay hospital for a check-up but was described as being in a "remarkable condition".
Senior Sergeant Peter Nichols, of Colac Police, said the teenager made a bed of bracken fronds and ate watercress found in a nearby river to survive.
He said: "For someone with very limited bushcraft, not aware of the environment ... he's done fantastic.
"He went off the marked track and became disoriented and from that just couldn't find his way out."
It is understood that Mr Bliss, who is a keen photographer, had been travelling in Australia for several months as part of a gap-year break.
According to friends of the family, his parents, Martin and Jean Bliss, and brother Jamie were already out in Australia when he went missing, having arrived on Monday for a two-week holiday. His sister Rachel had joined him in January.
Speaking to the BBC yesterday, Martin Bliss said:
"It's been like waking up from a horrible dream. He's a fit lad who likes walking in the local hills and trout fishing. Obviously he wasn't prepared for this one.
"He said the first night was cold and he made himself a bed out of bracken.
"The next morning he kept walking along this path, but found nothing so he spent another night out."
Martin Bliss said that at one point his son suffered the frustration of being able to hear a helicopter searching for him, but not being able see it for the thick canopy of trees.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
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Wind direction: North east