Watch CBSN Live

Woman lost in Australian wilderness rescued after desperate SOS message in the sand

After being lost in the wilderness for three days, an Australian woman was rescued after the SOS message she scrawled in the sand was spotted on a surveillance camera.

Deborah Pilgrim, 55, was camping with friends last weekend when she decided to go for an early-morning walk near the town of Sedan. After she didn't return, authorities searched for her for three days, South Australia Police said in a statement.

A helicopter, drones, volunteers and rescue agencies all failed to locate Pilgrim.

"We held great fears for her safety," the South Australia Police said at a news conference. "That area is quite harsh ... very easy to lose your footing."

Luckily for Pilgrim, Neil Marriott owned some property where she got lost, and saw her message on one of his surveillance cameras. According to the statement, Marriott had been checking the camera footage more frequently after police announced that Pilgrim was missing.

When Marriott saw the message, he notified police, who found Pilgrim safe on a nearby property where she had access to water, the statement said.

Officials emphasized that Pilgrim did the right thing in her situation. "It was a very smart, very sensible thing that she did," police said.

Police said Pilgrim's health seemed stable, but she was taken to the hospital for an examination before being sent home. They added that she was in good spirits.

"She's home safe and sound — and has an adventure to talk about," police said.

View CBS News In