Search resumes for missing backpacker

Police hold grave fears for a British tourist who ran off into bushland after hitting his head and suffering a suspected seizure during a camping trip.

Authorities mounted a large-scale search at the weekend for Aslan King, who vanished at around 2am on Saturday morning at Princetown, beside cliffs on the Victorian coast near the Twelve Apostles.

The 25-year-old had been camping with mates when he suddenly got up and ran off into the bushland but his friends couldn't find him.

Police deployed a helicopter, officers on motorcycles and horseback, took to waterways in boats and brought in sniffer dogs, but have so far been able to find the man.

His friends told Nine News yesterday that Mr King's face suddenly went blank while they were drinking in the early hours of Saturday, before he had what appeared to be a seizure.

At first they thought he was joking, but then he fell off his chair and crawled under a car. They tried to restrain him, but he started running into the nearby bushland.

 

Aslan King ran into bushland after suffering a medical episode near Princetown, Victoria early on Saturday morning. Picture: Victoria Police
Aslan King ran into bushland after suffering a medical episode near Princetown, Victoria early on Saturday morning. Picture: Victoria Police

Instagram footage posted by the British camper shows him driving along the Great Ocean Rd before reaching the Twelve Apostles on Friday.

In his video, Mr King points to a Parks Victoria sign, which warns of unstable cliffs and snakes.

The area, covered with thick vegetation, rocky clifftops and deep coastal waters, is known to contain a large population of deadly tiger snakes.

Mr King, an illustrator from Brighton in England's south, relocated to Australia just two weeks ago.

Sasha McKeer, a close friend from the United Kingdom, said Mr King's disappearance is unlike him.

"This is very unusual for him," Ms McKeer told the Herald Sun. "It's completely out of the ordinary for him to disappear from his friends. We are very upset and worried."

Police believe Mr King may be disoriented and lost in the bush.

The search was ramped up on Sunday to include more than 60 people from Victoria Police, the State Emergency Service (SES) and Parks Victoria, as well as mounted police and an Air Wing helicopter.

However, Sgt Danny Brown of Victoria Police said thermal imaging sensors had detected no trace of Mr King.

They might be used again today as the search carries on.

 

The area is surrounded by thick bush and rocky cliffs.
The area is surrounded by thick bush and rocky cliffs.

"You're using every sense, whether that be eyes, ears and touch as well," he told Nine Newspapers.

"Some of this scrub, you have to get on hands and knees to move through it."

Friends of Mr King have been posting on Facebook about his disappearance.

"Please if anyone knows of or has seen, passed by, heard from our dear friend Asi, please get in touch ASAP," Tom Mayes wrote on Facebook.

"He is a really special guy and a solid pal to many of us. We all just want our boy back safe and sound. One love."

"Never in a million years did I think I'd ever, ever be this person but my very dear friend Aslan is missing," another friend wrote.

"Any Aussie connections on here please share in the hope he is found safe. He is supposed to be joining us at my wedding in Bali."

Mr King is of medium build with short hair and was wearing trackpants, a light grey T-shirt and hoodie with green Reebok sneakers when he fled.

He may have blood on his forehead.

A police search covering a four-kilometre radius resumed at first light on Monday.


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