Rescue chopper saves lost teenagers

ALARM: A youth made a distress call on his phone after he and his friends became lost in mangroves at Weeroona Island, but the trouble was the battery was dying.
ALARM: A youth made a distress call on his phone after he and his friends became lost in mangroves at Weeroona Island, but the trouble was the battery was dying.

Three teenagers were plucked to safety by the police rescue helicopter after becoming lost in mangroves at Weeroona Island early Saturday.

One of the teenagers spoke to The Recorder after being released from hospital in the morning.

He said he and his friends had been crabbing when they experienced difficulties and raised the alarm.

“The trouble was my phone battery was dying … the police found us,” he said.

“My feet are sore. I am going to head home.”

The youth had bare legs smeared with mud.

Police said the teenagers had become lost deep in the mangroves and managed to contact a friend who reported the incident to police just after 12.15am on Saturday.

Contact with the group was hampered by the fact their phone battery was flat.

State Emergency Service crews tried to reach the teenagers by boat, but were unsuccessful.

The police helicopter was called in and began a search.  The trio were spotted from overhead about 6.30am and winched to safety.

The teens, a 16-year-old girl, a 17-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man, were taken to the Port Pirie Hospital to be checked out.  

Police said they were exhausted and dehydrated after their ordeal.