[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 14 April 2006, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK
Outback 'skeleton' recalls ordeal
Ricky Magee (right) after Outback ordeal
Ricky Magee lost a large amount of weight during his ordeal
A "walking skeleton" who emerged from the Australian Outback after being lost for 10 weeks has recalled how he survived on leeches and frogs.

Ricky Megee, 35, stumbled out of the bush in front of a farm manager's jeep in the Northern Territory, near the Western Australia border.

Mr Megee was rescued last week and has been recovering in hospital in Darwin.

It is unclear how he became lost. He has said both that his car broke down and that he was drugged by a hitcher.

Cooked frogs

He told Britain's Times newspaper that he had been heading to take up a government employment agency job in Port Hedland, Western Australia. The paper said the agency had confirmed the story.

Mr Megee told rescuers his car had broken down.

But he told the Times he stopped his Mitsubishi Challenger on the Buntine Highway to give an Aboriginal man a lift.

Mr Megee told the paper: "The last thing I remember was driving up the road and getting a bit dazed and confused.

"The next thing was waking up, face down, in a hole. There was some plastic on me with some rocks and dirt thrown on top. What woke me was that there were four dingoes scratching the rocks to try to get at me."

After wandering for more than a week he stumbled upon a natural dam.

"I ate the leeches raw, straight out of the dam," he said. "Grasshoppers I just ate them. But the only thing I really sort of had to cook was the frogs.

"I slipped them onto a bit of wire and stuck the wire on top of my [shelter], let the sun dry them out a fair bit until they were a bit crispy and then just ate them."

Mark Clifford, who found Mr Megee near the cattle station of Birrindudu, 800km (500 miles) south-west of Katherine, said: "He is a big tall man, six foot two, six foot three, and he was just a walking skeleton basically."

Hear Ricky Magee telling his story

Danger Down Under
28 Sep 05 |  Magazine
Remote rescue for British sailors
29 Sep 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Tourist survives 24 hours in sea
08 Jan 00 |  Asia-Pacific
American found after outback odyssey
23 Aug 99 |  Asia-Pacific


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific