Lost explorer Benedict Allen saved by missionary

Elias Hubbard
November 18, 2017

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A British explorer who went missing during a trip to Papua New Guinea has been evacuated from a remote patch of jungle but is now "feverish with suspected malaria", his agent said on Friday. "He would like to send thanks for all the kind messages he has received".

Benedict Allen, 57, had no mobile phone or Global Positioning System device with him when he was dropped by helicopter in a remote jungle to begin an expedition.

He was hoping to reach the Yaifo, a tribe thought to be one of the last on Earth to have no contact with the outside world.

"He is now marooned in a remote part of Papua New Guinea that is only reachable by air after all the road bridges were cut due to tribal fighting", Mr Gardner, who is also the BBC's security correspondent, said.

But after he missed a flight home last weekend, friends and family raised the alarm.

Mr Gardner had earlier told the BBC a PNG tribal commission had been looking for Mr Allen and that he had been sighted by an airstrip.

His wife, Lenka Allen, previously told the Daily Mail that their children - 10-year-old Natalya, Freddie, seven, and two-year-old Beatrice - were asking: "When's Daddy coming home?"

Steven Ballantyne, an expedition leader and friend of Mr Allen, told the BBC on Thursday: "What we think is that he travelled much further than he anticipated, that he was going through much tougher terrain than he anticipated". "I'm so happy, it's wonderful".

Benedict Allen, who has made programmes for the BBC, had gone travelling in an attempt to find the Yaifo tribe, one of the few left in the world that has little to no contact with outsiders, and which he first visited 30 years ago.

He wrote: "Just like the good old days, I won't be taking a sat phone, Global Positioning System or companion".

It was not immediately clear where Allen, who posted a cryptic tweet before his journey urging well-wishers "don't try to rescue me, please", would be treated for the disease.

Writing on Facebook he said: "I have now spoken to Benedict Allen - it was good to hear his voice and to know all is now well - Benedict has had quite an adventure and we should be proud that he, with the help of many wonderful people in PNG, came so far".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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