A woman lost in the Australian bush has been found after her SOS note written in the dirt was spotted on a local landowner’s CCTV.
Deborah Pilgrim, 55, went missing on Oct. 13 after last being seen around 6 a.m. that day, South Australian Police said in a Facebook statement.
Pilgrim had reportedly been camping with friends that weekend.
Police were quick to launch a search of the area using helicopters, drones, mounted police and more.
In a savvy bid for rescue, Pilgrim reportedly wrote “SOS” in the sand on an uninhabited plot of land.
This turned out to be her saving grace. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Neil Marriott, the owner of the land, sporadically checked the CCTV network on his property after hearing of a woman missing in the area.
Marriott said his son called him and asked him to check the camera footage.
“There was the SOS written in the ground, which wasn’t there the day before,” he told ABC.
“I put two and two together and called police, but by the time they were able to get out there, it was dark,” he said. “But then they found a hoodie jacket, which obviously belonged to the lady.”
Pilgrim was found around midnight three days after she was reported missing. According to police, she was located on a nearby property where she had found access to drinking water.
The South Australian Police reported Pilgrim was taken to a local hospital and appeared to be in good health.
Pilgrim said she knew what to do to keep herself alive and that someone would come looking for her — disappearing like this wasn’t something she normally did.
“I just kept wandering and laid low at night,” she told ABC. “I tried to stay out of the sun and stay alive. I just knew that it was my job to stay alive.”
“I thought, ‘Somebody is going to think I’ve been kidnapped or something’ because it’s not something I would do.”