Eastern Cape – A boy who went missing while playing with his friend was found unharmed after spending more than eight hours alone in the wilderness, Eastern Cape police said on Monday.
The boy, 7, had been chasing rabbits and other creatures through the dense forest at the weekend and ended up separated from his friend, said Captain Mali Govender.
When locals couldn’t find him, a ward councillor in the Peddie area alerted police around 20:00 on Saturday.
Police officers started searching for the child, while women in the community apparently sat on the mountain, praying and waiting for updates.
Govender said the terrain was precipitous and craggy.
Police dogs and handlers arrived on scene around 04:00 on Sunday.
The boy’s friend guided one of the search teams to the area in the forest where they had become separated.
“Initially, the screams for help were faint, but as they moved closer to the river, the screams of help from the missing child grew louder,” said Govender.
The boy was eventually found sheltering under a cliff. A community member swam across a river to fetch him.
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