Lost woman's smoke signal alerts Cairns searchers
A YARRABAH woman lost in dense bushland for two days used a cigarette lighter to help rescuers find her yesterday.
The 54-year-old was reported missing by family late on Monday afternoon after she went for a walk in bush near her home and failed to return.
More than 120 emergency service workers spent two days scouring an area off Back Beach Rd before she was found.
She was able to start a fire with a cigarette lighter she was carrying which was spotted by the EMQ helicopter.
Search co-ordinator, water police Sgt Andrew Ibell, said she was taken to hospital dehydrated and exhausted but otherwise uninjured.
"As time went on we got more and more concerned for her welfare," he said.
"It's very hot out there and I don't think she managed to find any water.
"Where she was, it was very thick bushland and the crewman who was winched down (from the helicopter to find her) said it was very hard terrain."
Sgt Ibell said it was a timely warning for anyone attempting to travel through thick scrub.
"She became disoriented very quickly which shows just how easy it is to get lost," he said.
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Walk gone wrong: SES searchers scour bushland for a missing woman yesterday. Picture: BRENDAN FRANCIS