Missing man's bush ordeal ends
A SYDNEY man who spent 24 hours lost in the dense Mullumbimby hinterland wearing only a pair of board shorts said the experience had confirmed city life was for him.
An extensive search and rescue mission was launched on Monday afternoon for Zac Webb, who went missing at Huonbrook, west of Mullumbimby.
Mr Webb, 22, and a friend had been driving from Sydney to Pottsville to visit relatives.
At 9am on Monday, the pair pulled over at a water hole in at Huonbrook.
After going for a dip they fell asleep in their car. Mr Webb's friend woke to discover his mate was gone.
The friend notified police at about 4.30pm on Monday.
A search was carried out yesterday and the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was used to conduct an aerial search just before 3pm.
It was not long after the thud of the helicopter rotors was heard that a shoeless, scratched and dehydrated Mr Webb fronted a farmhouse in Huonbrook Rd.
He said while he "likes the country, the city suits (him) just fine".
"I was standing on some cliffs and I saw something that was forever away, but I thought it was my last hope so I went for it," he said.
Mr Webb's red and white board shorts were ripped and he was covered in dirt, but he was otherwise in good spirits.
"I just went for a bit of a walk and somehow I lost my track and didn't know where to look or what was where," he said.
"It was the first time I had ever been here so it was pretty creepy really. I got a bit of sleep. I laid down in shrubbery and froze all night.
"There were a couple of snakes here and there but the scariest point was having to drink water off a cliff top as it was the only bit of water I could see or get."
Mr Webb said he could hear the helicopter flying in the opposite direction of where he was.
"I didn't know whether people were looking for me or not. I was hoping nobody was freaking out," he said.
Byron Bay police Inspector Greg Jago said the terrain made the search difficult for SES and VRA volunteers.
"It is a national park with a very dense canopy, is heavily timbered and has undergrowth all through the area, which makes searching a very arduous task for the volunteers assisting police," Insp Jago said.