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Lost girl found after disappearing from campsite near Echuca

Search and rescue crews were called out to help find a missing nine-year-old girl on Saturday night but she was found before they arrived.

April 30, 2014 3:22am

A nine-year-old girl who went missing near Stewarts Bridge Rd on Saturday night was found a few hours later about 3km from her family’s campsite.

Sergeant David O’Dea of Echuca police said two Melbourne families were camping about 20km east of Echuca when the girl became lost.

‘‘The girl was playing with a group of kids about 3.30pm when she noticed her twin sister had gone back to the camp, so she went to walk back and got lost,’’ Sgt O’Dea said.

‘‘Her family looked for her, but when it became dark, they got worried and rang police.’’

The girl was reported missing at 6.30pm and Echuca, Rochester and Tongala police attended.

‘‘We notified the Melbourne Search and Rescue helicopter and Echuca SES, but she was found before they arrived,’’ Sgt O’Dea said.

Echuca members found the girl about 8.10pm, about 3km from the campsite, he said.

‘‘They were going on foot, up and down the river, calling out on the PA system when they heard her call out,’’ he said.

‘‘Because she’d been gone for some time, she was obviously a little bit frightened and upset, but otherwise she was fit and healthy.

‘‘She didn’t need any medical attention.

‘‘She was calm and bright enough to call out to us.’’

Sgt O’Dea said the family were extremely relieved to have their daughter back.

‘‘They’d done a fair bit of searching already,’’ he said.

‘‘Once it gets dark, anybody who didn’t know the area would have been disoriented.’’

Echuca SES unit controller Dean Currey said the crew was called about 7.30pm to help with the search and provide lighting.

‘‘We were happy to go out in this situation and do nothing. It was a good result,’’ he said.

Mr Currey said the Echuca CFA and Echuca-Moama Search and Rescue offered to help, but were not needed.

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