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British Man's SOS Message Sees Him Rescued From The Australian Bush

24/08/2015 18:59 BST | Updated 25/08/2015 08:59 BST

A British man who became hopelessly lost in an Australian national park was saved after scrawling a giant SOS message in the sand.

Geoff Keys, from Dartford in Kent, was on a round-the-world motorbike trip when he decided to visit Queensland’s Jardine National Park.

But while on his way to a waterfall, he became lost and ended up wandering the park for two days in 30C heat.

geoff keys

Geoff Keys' SOS message

When the 63-year-old attempted to take a shortcut, wearing just shorts, a t-shirt and a hat and no shoes, he realised he had lost the trail back to his camp.

After spending one night in the bush, Keys had a “moment of inspiration” and left the message, which read “HELP 2807 ->”. The number referred to the date and the arrow pointed the direction he had walked.

Although he had heard helicopters in the distance - a sign that someone was out looking for him - he would spend another day in the wilderness before he was picked up.

geoff keys

Keys (L) with one of his rescuers, Brad Foat

Helicopters had been about to move to another search area when they spotted the SOS, according to the BBC.

Keys was eventually picked up, starved, exhausted and with bloodied and blistered feet from wondering through the park without shoes.

According to the Mirror, he said after his ordeal: “I feel stupid but lucky. I’m sorry about the worry caused to friends and family.”