MIRI: Australian tourist, Andrew Gaskell, who was reported missing in Mulu National Park on Oct 20, was found alive today and taken to Miri Hospital for medical checks.

Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department assistant director of operations Farhan Sufyan Borhan said rescuers found Gaskell within an area called "Hidden Valley", a deep ravine near Camp 1, about five to six kilometres from the base camp.

The SAR team found him at 1pm and lifted him out of the area using the winching method to a helicopter.

Miri Fire and Rescue Department chief Law Poh Kiong said the 26-year-old former engineer arrived at the hospital at 3pm.

"He was found by our Search and Rescue (SAR) team 4, which comprised three firemen, two policemen and two park’s management personnel," he said.

“Although he did not suffer from any injury, he was weak. We rushed him to Miri airport by helicopter before transporting him to Miri General Hospital for a check-up and treatment.”

The team began their operation about 8am, focusing areas from Camp 1 to Camp 3.

“They found Gaskell after searching for five hours,”

Gaskell, a former engineer from Queensland, arrived in the state in early August and had visited the main cities, including Kuching and Bintulu, before exploring places such as Kapit, Similajau and Bengoh.

He had entered the national park on Oct 20 without a guide and had texted his local friend that he would return the following day. However, he could not be reached after that.

A police report was lodged on Friday and a SAR operation was launched.

The operation, which entered the sixth day yesterday, involved 63 people from the Fire and Rescue Department, police, Sarawak Forestry Corporation, Mulu National Park management, the locals, as well as Gaskell’s family members.

The SAR team faced challenges during the operation over the past few days, including heavy rain, slippery trails and strong river flows.

It is learnt that Gaskell, his father, David Andrew Gaskell, 54, and his younger brother, Benjamin Keith Gaskell, 24, are expected to hold a press conference at an unidentified location and time on Wednesday.

Australian tourist, Andrew Gaskell, who was reported missing in Mulu National Park on Oct 20, was found alive today and has been taken to Miri Hospital. Pix courtesy of Fire and Rescue Department
Australian tourist, Andrew Gaskell, who was reported missing in Mulu National Park on Oct 20, was found alive today and has been taken to Miri Hospital. Pix courtesy of Fire and Rescue Department