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The Story Of A Missing Father In Eastern Cape Forest


A man’s four-day ordeal lost in a dense Eastern Cape forest ended yesterday when he returned home.

An exhausted Dawid Ruiters, 30, who went missing on Thursday, said all he had thought about as he tried to find his way back to his home in Thornhill was his family.

He said those thoughts kept him strong – and his family said it was a miracle that he was still alive.

Ruiters was found by a search party 25km from where he went missing.

He was airlifted to Humansdorp hospital for medical checks.

PRECIOUS WATER: A dehydrated Dawid Ruiters drinks from a water bottle provided by search-and-rescue workers. Picture: Supplied

PRECIOUS WATER: A dehydrated Dawid
Ruiters drinks from a water bottle
provided by search-and-rescue workers. Picture: Supplied

Dehydrated and seemingly confused, he tried to run away from searchers he spotted in the distance in the Longmore Forest, but his feet were so sore he could not move. He told his story last night. “I did not feel well on Thursday when I got to work at the Longmore plantation. I told my cousin Wilfred Williams, 27, who suggested that I should go lie in the company truck.

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“I decided to walk back home but unfortunately I got lost.”

Ruiters said it had been cold and wet and he had no food.

“I survived by eating sticky stuff from the trees. I could not sleep at night because I was scared of snakes and wild animals.

“Thinking about my two kids – a nine-year-old girl and a two-year-old boy – and the unborn baby my girlfriend is carrying kept me going.”

Williams said he had been involved in the search and, at one stage, had given up hope.

Further details of Ruiters’ rescue were not clear last night.

Source: Herald Live

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