Missing woman survives six nights lost in far north Queensland bushland

Joohee Han (pictured) was last seen on Thursday at a supermarket in Tully. Photo: Queensland Police Media. Courtesy: Brisbane News

A Korean woman lost on a bushwalk in far north Queensland, sparking a desperate search involving several helicopters, has “remarkably” survived six nights in the bush. 

She was found by a creek bed, dehydrated and suffering exposure, on Thursday morning by a contingent of soldiers and police.

Joohee Han, 25, was last seen at a supermarket in Tully, south of Cairns, the Thursday a week earlier, and told a friend she was going to climb Mount Tyson on Friday. 

She had not been seen or heard from since, and her friends reported her missing to police on Wednesday.

An extensive search was launched on Thursday, involving rescue and civilian helicopters, 14 SES volunteers, 20 Australian Defence Force staff and National Parks and Wildlife staff. 

Inspector Stephen Kersley said a contingent of soldiers and police officers working through the bush had found her while acting on a tip of yelling being heard on Saturday.

“As a result of that [report] we did a bit of mapping and sent one crew down the side of the hill in the direction of what may or may not have been her, and luckily enough it was her,” Inspector Kersley said.

He said Ms Han was very dehydrated but had done well to survive so long.

“Six days is a long time to be lost in the bush, particularly when you have no bush skills,” he said.

Ms Han was found at about 12.16pm near a creek bed, and was with ground crews who walked her out of the location before a helicopter airlifted her to hospital for treatment.

The exact location where Ms Han was found in the bush was not yet confirmed.

Acting SES area co-ordinator Eleanor Rosam said the search terrain was difficult.

“It’s a track that is not used very frequently so it’s not in the best condition,” Ms Rosam said.