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Miracle survival: Missing Luke Shambrook found alive in bush

An autistic boy who went missing four days ago at a Victorian camping ground has been found alive, with police describing his survival in the dense forest as a "miracle".

Luke Shambrook, 11, was spotted by a police helicopter, shortly before noon, walking in rugged terrain three kilometres (almost two miles) from the Lake Eildon National Park campsite where he was last seen on Good Friday.

The incredible moment police spotted Luke from the air was caught on camera and released by police a short time ago.

Acting Sergeant Brad Pascoe, from Police Air Wing, said he spotted something moving out the corner of his eye as the chopper hovered above the search area.

"I just caught a little flash of something," he said in a short video clip posted on social media.

"It wasn't much but it was enough to get me to ask the guys to turn the aircraft around and go back and have a look," he said.



FULL interview here:

"As we got closer, we saw it was a person on the ground. We were able to focus the camera in and confirm it was Luke.

"We were absolutely over the moon.

"It's such a great reward for everybody's efforts."

Luke was picked up by paramedics and taken to hospital suffering from hypothermia and dehydration.

"In some ways it's a miracle," Victoria Police Acting Commander Rick Nugent told reporters at the site.

"You will have all seen the terrain here, how thick it is, how cold it's been of a night. We've had rain most of this morning.

"To spot him now is an absolute relief. And the joy by all of us that he's been found is just hard to describe."

Little fighter Luke Shambrook is loaded into the back of an ambulance after spending five days lost in dense Victorian bushland. Photo: 7Newso
Little fighter Luke Shambrook is loaded into the back of an ambulance after spending five days lost in dense Victorian bushland. Photo: 7Newso

Acting Commander Nugent said the Shambrook family, who refused to give up hope that Luke would be found alive, was overwhelmed with the news and passed on their appreciation to those involved for their efforts and commitment in the search for their son.

"His parents are overwhelmed by the news," Acting Commander Nugent added.

"They described their feeling as absolute relief that he has been found well after being lost in the bush for approximately four days."

The incredible moment Luke Shambrook is reunited with his mother after surviving almost five days in Victorian bushland. Photo: 7News
The incredible moment Luke Shambrook is reunited with his mother after surviving almost five days in Victorian bushland. Photo: 7News

Rescuers were given new hope late on Monday when they discovered a cap worn by Luke, the only item of clothing found after days of searching. It also provided a focus for Tuesday's efforts.

They had earlier been told that the 11-year-old liked to hide and had a fascination with water, prompting police divers to search the lake.

Amazing news: Luke Shambrook has been found alive after spending almost five days lost in Victorian bushland. Photo: Supplied
Amazing news: Luke Shambrook has been found alive after spending almost five days lost in Victorian bushland. Photo: Supplied

His family had also said that Luke might not respond to searchers' calls and may not even have realised he was lost.


Nugent praised the child's resilience.

"An 11-year-old boy, challenged as he is with his autism, he's a courageous, resilient, strong young man," he said.

"Everyone is overwhelmed by the news... the longer it went the more challenging it was going to be for us. To find him safe and well... is just wonderful news."

Luke's family are said to be overcome with relief after the 11-year-old autistic boy was found after five days lost in the bush. Photo: Supplied
Luke's family are said to be overcome with relief after the 11-year-old autistic boy was found after five days lost in the bush. Photo: Supplied

The police dog squad, airwing, motorcycles, mounted branch and 4WDs took part in the five day search of Lake Eildon National Park, as did campers and 40 other civilian volunteers from nearby towns.

Seven News reporter Michael Scanlan earlier told Fairfax Radio the boy was conscious and looking around him.

"His mum is by his side right now," he said.



News break - April 7