Desperate search for third person missing in NT outback narrows following details of survival

The search will resume for a woman missing for more than two weeks in the wild south of Alice Springs after the miraculous rescue of her two companions.

Alice Springs woman Claire Hockridge, 46, had still not been found on Tuesday night after the group was stranded when their ute became bogged in sand in a river bed on November 19.

Her friend Phu Tran, 40, was found by a pastoralist on Tuesday about 12km from the ute.

He managed to survive after finding water and was taken to hospital to be treated for exposure.

Ted Fogarty found tracks and followed footprints before he saw Mr Tran come out of a large cement pipe he had slept in.

Mr Tran had said he had left Ms Hockridge behind in a good condition two days ago.

Claire Hockridge is still missing after the trio's car became bogged in a river bed two weeks ago. Source: Getty Images/AAP

Tamra McBeath-Riley, 52, of Alice Springs, was rescued on late Sunday afternoon after a station worker noticed tyre tracks and alerted police.

“She appears to have stayed where the water is and has been drinking that and that's probably what's kept her going until we've been able to locate her,” Police Superintendent Pauline Vicary told ABC.

“We tried many times to try and get out, but just couldn't get out, so ventured forth to try and find some shelter and some water,” Ms McBeath-Riley said of when the three remained by the car.

“During the day it's just really hot so we dug ourselves under the car during the day into the sand.”

Superintendent Vicary said the focus now was on finding Ms Hockbridge.

“We are really hoping Claire is also okay and that this turns out to be a really positive outcome for everybody, particularly their families because this has been a really awful time for them.”

Phu Tran and Tamra McBeath-Riley were found after weeks lost in the outback. Source: AAP

The discovery of Mr Tran narrowed the rugged area being looked at by search crews in helicopters, Superintendent Vicary said.

Police will now focus on a specific area about an hour and a half south of Alice Springs.

On November 19, the trio told friends and family they were going for a drive, however they failed to return that night.

Ms McBeath-Riley and her partner, Claire Hockridge, are locals of Alice Springs while Phu Tran lives in Adelaide.

Their vehicle was found during an air search. A station worker informed police of tyre tracks in an area which was not part of the initial search.

The three left a note on the car, saying that the trio had split up to find help, Ms McBeath-Riley had gone north and Ms Hockridge and Mr Tran had gone west. The note was dated November 21.

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