A tourist missing for 19 days while on a walking holiday in southern Spain has been found alive at the bottom of a ravine in what rescuers described as "a true miracle".
Mary-Anne Goossens, a 48-year-old Dutch mother of two, was discovered by climbers early yesterday nearly three weeks after she set off on a hike alone during a holiday to Andalusia.
She survived without food or shelter in a ravine near the source of the Chillar river by drinking water from its banks.
Describing herself as "weak and hungry", she amazed rescuers by walking from the helicopter into the emergency unit of the nearby Comarcal de la Axarquia.
The hospital said that all her vital signs were normal but they would keep her in overnight for observation.
After she went missing her family managed to trace her last known movements on the morning of June 17 to the village of Frigiliana, a well-known setting-off point for excursions into the Sierra Almijara Natural Park.
Niek Jochemus, a family friend, said that she had become lost in the mountains after straying off the path.
"She spent a couple of days walking and then became so weak she couldn't walk any more and decided it was best to stay near water and hope that someone would find her soon."
Her ex-husband and two sons boarded a flight to Malaga yesterday to be at her bedside.
Her son Fritz Horten said: "It's definitely our mother and she's okay. We're totally happy and on our way to see her." (© Daily Telegraph, London)