After being stranded in the Northern Territory desert, Australian police claim it’s a “miracle” that the couple lived for many days without water.
On Friday and Saturday, Mahesh Patrick, 14, and Shaun Emitja, 21, were discovered independently near Alice Springs.
Both were thirsty and exhausted, but generally well, according to authorities.
Last Monday, while on a four-hour journey in a rural area, their vehicle became stuck.
They stayed with the car overnight since they couldn’t get it out, then left the next morning to look for water.
Authorities said they traveled 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) to a hill before realizing they were heading the wrong way.
“They assumed they were traveling in a route that would take them next to the Sandover Highway,” police in the Northern Territory said, referring to the region’s sole main road that runs north-south.
After failing to return to Hermannsburg, an Aboriginal settlement 120 kilometers (75 miles) south-west of Alice Springs, they were reported missing.
The two stayed at the top of the hill for the night, where authorities think they discovered a water supply.
“We believe they last received water on Tuesday,” Acting Commander Kirsten Engels said.
They then broke off, according to police, for unclear reasons.
Mahesh went 35 kilometers on his own, discovering a fence that he followed for two days south. On Friday night, he was discovered.
Acting Cdr Engels stated, “He was miraculously discovered by community members who reconnected him with his community and family.”
After that, he assisted in a police air hunt for Mr Emitja, who was discovered on Saturday night.
“They are incredibly fortunate to be alive,” Acting Cdr Engels said. “We all know how hard it is out there.”
Authorities encourage people to stay in their cars if they become stuck in the outback since it provides some cover and protection from the weather, as well as making them a more visible target for search aircraft.
Food and four litres of water per person per day are also recommended for anyone traveling in Australia’s remote outback.