Geoff Keys planned to swim from his camp at Canal Creek to beauty spot Eliot Falls. He decided to try and take a short cut through the bush and went missing for two days.

Geoff soon realised that he was lost in the 900-square-mile Jardine river national park after just a few minutes

His friends reported him missing and he slept the night out in the bush.

The next day, he continued swimming downstream until he came to a sandbank.

The Brisbane Times reported that he said: “It seemed a good idea to help myself as much as possible so I got out of the water, found a stick and wrote a message in the sand, just in case the helicopter came down that way. HELP. 2807. –>. Help, today’s date and my direction of travel.”

The move saved his life, because a day later search and rescue spotted it.

Geoff returned to the bank after a second night and saw the helicopter overhead. He started jumping up and down, was spotted by the rescue team and rescued.

“It’s safe to say that I’m very grateful to everyone involved in my rescue. Their skill and professionalism is incredible. I feel stupid but lucky,” said Keys.