Cheshire born explorer who went missing on Papua New Guinea trip is evacuated by helicopter

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Staff Reporter

A British explorer who went missing on an expedition to reach a remote tribe in Papua New Guinea has been evacuated by helicopter.

Cheshire-born Benedict Allen, 57, who has no mobile phone or GPS device with him, was dropped into the remote jungle three weeks ago.

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.

The explorer was reported missing earlier this week after he failed to board a flight back home via Hong Kong on Sunday.

His agent, Jo Sarsby, confirmed on Thursday that he had been seen near a remote airstrip, and said efforts were under way to evacuate him.

In a statement on Friday, his agent said: "We can confirm that Benedict Allen has been evacuated by helicopter and is now safe in Port Moresby.

"He is reported as feverish with suspected malaria. Benedict looks forward to being reunited with his family and friends but will need some time to get back to full health.

"He would like to send thanks for all the kind messages he has received."

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner tweeted that Mr Allen was due to be on a plane home on Saturday.

He added: "Explorer @benedictallen is now recovering from fever, poss malaria in Papua New Guinea capital having got disoriented on remote jungle trek."

Mr Allen's wife Lenka Allen previously told how the couple's children - 10-year-old Natalya, Freddie, seven, and two-year-old Beatrice - were missing their father.

After hearing of sightings of Mr Allen, she told the Daily Mail: "It is such a relief. I'm so happy, it's amazing."

In a blog post on his website in September, Mr Allen described the Yaifo as "one of the last people on the entire planet who are out of contact with our interconnected world".

"Just like the good old days, I won't be taking a sat phone, GPS or companion. Or anything else much," he wrote.

"Because this is how I do my journeys of exploration. I grow older but no wiser, it seems."

See full story in the Chester Leader

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