Missing Shoalhaven camper found after two nights in bush

A search for a Lithgow woman, who spent two nights missing in rugged bushland west of Nowra has had a happy ending, with the woman being found safe and well.

Police held grave fears for 32-year-old Lydia Johnson, of Bowenfels near Lithgow.

She had not been seen since leaving a camping ground near Yalwal on Tuesday night at 7pm.

Authorities were alerted to her disappearance on Wednesday morning, with a search launched in bush near the former gold mining township of Yalwal.

Police Rescue personnel, SES volunteers, police on trail bikes, and the Lifesaver 3 rescue helicopter were involved in the search on Wednesday, but failed to find any trace of Ms Johnson.

The search, including 32 SES personnel and the police dog unit.

It resumed at first light on Thursday with SES ground search crews finding Ms Johnson in a cleared service road under powerlines shortly after 9am.

Apart from being slightly dehydrated, cold and having sore feet from walking for two days without shoes in bushland she was reported to be in a good condition, however she was taken to Shoalhaven Hospital for a thorough examination.

She had been camping near Danjera Dam with her father and following a disagreement had wandered off into the bush.

Unable to find her way back in the dark, she found a place to sleep and at first light on Wednesday attempted to find her way out of the location.

She spent another cold night in the open, the temperature in the area dropped to about just 10 degrees.

At dawn on Thursday she again attempted to continue her walk out of the area and after a couple of hours came across a service road under powerlines where she located the SES search team.

“I’m okay just a bit cold and sore,” she said.

NSW Ambulance paramedics met the search team and examined Ms Johnson before taking her back to the command post that had been established in a cleared area just off Yalwal Road.

SES volunteer John Jones, of Ulladulla was part of the team that found Ms Johnson.

“She was on the service road and waved to us. She found us,” he said.

“She was cold, tired and a bit dehydrated and had sore feet from walking barefoot in the bush for two days.

“She was delighted to see us.

“We gave her some water and some grapes that we had with us.

“It’s great to have such a positive outcome,” he said.

Shoalhaven Police duty officer, Inspector Susan Charman-Horton said Ms Johnson expressed her thanks to all the people who assisted in the search.

South Coast Register

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