Lost reveller thought
he was going to die

A 21-year-old who was found disoriented and suffering hypothermia yesterday after spending two days missing in freezing, wet conditions wearing just tracksuit pants had wandered off during a three-day bush doof party south-east of Perth.

Police said they would track down and question the organisers of the illegal and secretive party, as Robert Fairchild recovered from his ordeal in hospital.

His relieved British-based father Julian Fairchild posted on Facebook that he had spoken to his son and thanked everyone for their concern. "He is still a bit subdued and 'out of it' but says he should be discharged tomorrow," he wrote.

Cold, dehydrated and confused, Mr Fairchild was found by State Emergency Service volunteers about 11.15am after he followed a toilet paper trail they laid out.

He was about 2km from where he had disappeared.

"He asked us if it was the first time we'd found him because he'd been having some very odd dreams," SES searcher Cathy Van Baaren said.

"He didn't know what day it was and he didn't know how long he'd been out, so when he found us, I don't think he could quite believe it."

She said the 21-year-old kept thanking them and told them he thought he was going to die in the bush.

Mr Fairchild wandered away from the party about 3am on Sunday but an official search was not launched for several hours until friends realised later in the day he was missing and called police.

As the search intensified, worried friends turned to Facebook, asking whether anyone had seen him.

Revellers who had been at the rave party wrote about seeing people on drugs, with one claiming he saw a man "off his head" that evening.

Police believe up to 500 people went to the party, which was advertised through Facebook as a "family-friendly" event and held at an isolated campsite on government land off Brookton Highway near Flynn.

Acting Insp. Grant Pollard said police tried to monitor such parties but they were often in remote areas and advertised by word-of-mouth and it was not until something went wrong that they were alerted.

"My advice would be not to have these parties," he said.

"If people do have to attend, take care of yourself and make sure that your friends are safe."

Mr Fairchild was flown to Royal Perth Hospital where he was in a stable condition last night.

His boss Vicky Sobey said yesterday that she was relieved he had been found alive.

He had failed to show for work at fencing business ALISLAT on Monday.

Mrs Sobey said she and her husband Wayne had not known that anything was wrong until police called them.

The West Australian

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