WA man Kerry Davies has been found. Picture: Supplied by family
WA man Kerry Davies has been found. Picture: Supplied by family

Unexpected turn in search for man missing in the outback

A man reported missing in South Australia's outback has been found after it was discovered he'd actually halted his trip across the country to help a family whose car had broken down in the desert.

Kerry Davies, 78, had been travelling from his home in Mosman Park, WA, to Byron Bay, NSW, to visit friends when he came across a family with car trouble in the desert near Mt Dare, in the far north of SA.

The former mechanic stopped to assist, adding more days onto his trip to drive the stranded family to the nearest town. However, he did not notify his family of the deviation from his schedule.

Unbeknown to Mr Davies, his family grew more and more worried about his whereabouts after they hadn't heard from him in a week.

Fearing the worst, his daughter Brooke Heath reported her father missing to police and took to social media to appeal for any information about his location.

She got word from police today that her father was not only well but had actually come to the rescue of another family whose car had broken down.

"Here we were thinking dad was stranded and he had actually rescued another family," she said.

"They must have gotten word this morning that everyone is looking for them (because) this family had a satellite phone and they called in to the police station and said don't send a search party.

"He's fine and was helping another family so now we all feel really bad for doubting him."

However, Mrs Heath said she still hadn't spoken to her father because the phone cut out but she was told he and the family were due to arrive at the Mt Bold Hotel on Thursday.

"(The publican has) been instructed to let him know that he's not allowed to leave until he calls me," she said.

"Im' sure he's now thinking 'oops'."

Mrs Heath urged other travellers to keep in regular contact with family members and friends when embarking on long trips through remote areas to avoid unnecessary worry.

"Call in because even if you don't think so, we are sitting around worrying," she said.