UK & World News
British Teen Backpacker Disappears In Outback
An 18-year-old British backpacker, who was hoping to join the armed forces, is missing in the Australian Outback after setting out on a hike to "improve his fitness".
Police launched a land and air search for 18-year-old Sam Woodhead after he failed to return from his expedition on Tuesday evening.
He had set off from the Upshot Station homestead, about 130km (80 miles) from the far-flung Queensland town of Longreach, some 700km inland from the coast.
Officers fear for the young man's safety due to his lack of familiarity with the property, which sprawls across 3,200 acres.
"Lack of water, the heat, venomous snakes and injury are probably our greatest concern," Sergeant Dave Perry told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
He said the missing teenager had some survival training.
"He may have been using some of the rougher country and the jump-ups to improve his fitness," said Sgt Perry.
Planes, motorbikes and four-wheel drives are being used in the search.
Local people have also been combing the area on foot and horseback, and an emergency services helicopter carrying medical staff has been sent out.
Mr Woodhead's mother is understood to be flying out to Australia to help with the search.
His sister, Rebecca Woodhead, wrote on her Facebook page: "If anyone hears from my brother please contact me ASAP.
"Would be a great birthday present if my brother would just turn up and ask what all the fuss is about!"