Nottingham

Missing student David Mackie 'ate insects' to survive

David Mackie with parents
Image caption David Mackie was reunited with parents Christopher and Alison on Monday

A student has survived for eight nights on a mountain in Turkey by eating insects and sheltering in a cave.

David Mackie, 21, from Nottinghamshire, and his two Dutch friends went missing after bad weather and flooding in the Antalya area.

Mr Mackie, who is studying in Istanbul, was found on Monday and airlifted to hospital. He has no serious injuries.

His sister Hannah Mackie, 22, said the family were still in shock over what happened.

She said: "It's been the worst week of my life... we're so relieved, we're still in disbelief.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption The three students sheltered in a cave on a mountain

"You don't think it's going to happen to you."

Mr Mackie said: "I've not eaten for seven days now. We ate a few ants and things like that and drank spring water from the mountains.

"We are extremely hungry and exhausted."

The engineering student left for a day trip with two Dutch friends, hiking along the Lycian Way long-distance path in Antalya, on 11 January.

However, they got lost, and due to bad weather and flooding were left without shelter until they found a cave to sleep in.

Mr Mackie's family grew worried when he had not been in contact and missed his flight back to Istanbul.

'Absolute dedication'

He managed to make an emergency call on Friday and the search for him began.

Ms Mackie said hundreds of people searched the canyon for her brother and his friends, who managed to survive by drinking spring water and eating insects.

He was rescued by helicopter on Monday morning.

His parents Christopher and Alison Mackie are currently with their son, who is now out of hospital with just cuts and scratches.

Mr Mackie thanked the Turkish authorities "for their absolute dedication in finding" his son.

Image copyright Hannah Mackie
Image caption David Mackie (left), Friso de Vries (centre) and Marije de Groot (right) with the Turkish rescue crew

They are all expected to return to their home in Radcliffe-on-Trent later this week.

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