Life Video

By Janet Tappin Coelho


Rescuers have described the dramatic moment they found missing brit weak and injured next to a waterfall after heading into the Brazilian rainforest to meditate.

Tourist Katherine Brewster, who has been missing since Sunday, has been found alive and suffering from injuries to her feet deep inside the Brazilian forest where she disappeared.

PIC BY FOCUS ON NEWS / CATERS NEWS: Katherine Brewster was said to be staying at Unipermaculture an eco village in Brazil

Two local men found the 27-year-old Briton after tracking her route for five hours and carrying her to safety on their backs for nearly two miles when she was too tired to walk.

Clairton da Silva, coordinator at the eco-village UniPermacultura, said: “When she saw us she started to cry. She was very weak and could not walk.”

The forest where Katherine vanished is perilous as it is a natural habitat for cobras, dangerous insects and large deadly spiders.

When they reached a main road the rescuers phoned for transport. Ms Brewster is now undergoing exams in hospital to ensure she has suffered no long term injuries.

Mr da Silva who found the missing tourist with colleague Edson Medeiros, said: “We started to search for her at six o clock in this morning (Friday 30 March) after failing to find her last night.

“We tracked Katherine down near a waterfall after five hours of looking for her and trekking over rugged and difficult terrain.

Pic from Caters News: Katherine Brewster pictured with the woman she has been staying with, Neli da Terra

“Katherine had made a small shelter for herself out of leaves, twigs and branches and had been living on fruit and roots. She would hardly speak to us because she was so weak.

“She had suffered injuries to her feet because she had been walking for a long time barefoot.

“We carried her for 3 km on our back sharing the responsibility until we reached a main road. Then we phoned a friend in the village and they drove to collect us.

“It took us five hours to search for her and we found her around 11am. It took us two hours to get back to safety.

“She couldn’t walk because she was very tired and her feet were bleeding, damaged and bruised.

“Katherine was crying and thanking us and saying that she had got lost and couldn’t find her way back home.

“As soon as she got home she wanted to have a shower and to speak to her family first.

“She has had a big scare and was frightened that if she hadn’t been found she could have died there.

PIC BY FOCUS ON NEWS / CATERS NEWS

“I know it wasn’t responsible for her because she wasn’t staying with us at the UniPermacultura eco-village, but as a leader in the community I had a moral responsibility for another person’s life.

“I took it upon myself, as an ex-military officer to use my experience of living and surviving in the bush. Also Edson, was born in the area and knows the forest extremely well.

“We started to look for her from yesterday starting in the afternoon but when it got dark we had to give up. However, we vowed that we would continue our search to find her and wouldn’t stop until we did.

“A group of us, about six people, divided up into search teams and went separate ways to looking for her yesterday but we weren’t successful.

“This morning we got up around 5 o clock and by 6am we were inside the jungle looking for her.

“The area where we found her was very difficult to access and very hard. But we tracked her movements because we found discarded fruit seeds, fruit skins and peels so we knew that this was the result of a human being trying to eat and keep themselves alive.

“The ground is extremely rough, sharp and tough on the feet and very difficult to balance on because it is rocky and dangerous.

“We followed the traces left by her movements and found her near a waterfall.

Pic from Caters News: Katherine Brewster pictured in the police station after being found alive.

“We found that she had built herself a small covering like tent with leaves, twigs and branches where she had taken refuge.

“She had been eating fruits and roots to survive on and drinking water from the waterfall.

“She was really weak and the first thing we said to her was ‘ how are you, are you fine? Let’s take you home’.

“We tried not to agitate her too much or to ask her too many questions as she was too weak to respond.

“Her feet were badly damaged, and bleeding and she couldn’t walk. We carried her on our backs because she couldn’t walk on her own

“It was very tiring for us and we had to carry her back and we arrive back around 13:00 today. It took us around two hours to get back.

“We have just arrived back, and she is taking a shower and going to break the good news to her family.”

Her mum Diane Brewster told the BBC that her daughter had called home after returning from “time alone” in a rural part of Santa Catarina.

Ms Brewster was said to have been “amazed” upon learning of the search.

Pic from Caters News: Katherine Brewsters rescuers Clairton da Silva (left) and Edson Medeiros (right)

Ms Brewster has been staying with a family in Dom Jose village in Alpestre, who reported her disappearance on Tuesday after she left taking only her passport and credit card, and leaving all her other belongings behind.

In a Facebook post, Neli da Terra said: “Katherine was “a guest for a period of 32 days, in search of a contact with earth and nature, always with a quiet behaviour and relationship and without causing any damage to the community and our family”.

Ms Brewster is now back with the couple she was staying with and has spoken to her family.

On Wednesday, cops in Brazil launched a massive search for the British tourist who went missing on Sunday after going for a barefoot walk alone in a dense forest.

The traveller who hails from Seaford, East Sussex, was last seen near a lake on the Foz de Chapecó hydroelectric dam in Alpestre, south Brazil before she was found today.

Detective Ercilio Carletti, who was in charge of the investigation said the 27-year-old arrived in the country over a month ago with the specific intention of staying with the family in Dom Jose Village, south Brazil.

On Wednesday, cops in Brazil launched a massive search for the British tourist who went missing on Sunday after going for a barefoot walk alone in a dense forest.

The traveller who hails from Seaford, East Sussex, was last seen near a lake on the Foz de Chapecó hydroelectric dam in Alpestre, south Brazil before she was found today.

Detective Ercilio Carletti, who was in charge of the investigation said the 27-year-old arrived in the country over a month ago with the specific intention of staying with the family in Dom Jose Village, south Brazil.

Pic from Caters News: The man who rescued Katherine Brewster, Clairton da Silva.

Det Carletti said: “One of the village members came to the station on Tuesday to report her missing. According to the witness the British woman left barefoot, wearing light clothes and shorts, and without her cell phone.

“The witness believes (Katherine) went into the nearby forest to meditate and to be at one with nature, as this was something she had the habit of doing,” he explained.

“We were told she went out for a walk on Sunday afternoon and didn’t come back”

A team of fire officers have been searching the region with tracker dogs since Wednesday. The area is known to be inhospitable because of the

difficult and rugged terrain.

According to investigators the tourist’s passport and credit cards were missing, but her British driving licence and suitcase, full of clothes and other belongings, were found still in the property where she has been staying.

Det Carletti previously said: “(Katherine) was living with residents in the eco-village community called Unipermaculture, that is situated, deep in

the countryside, far from the city.

However, the manager of the complex, Mr da Silva clarified: “Katherine was not staying with us in the eco-village. She was staying with a couple that live in the village nearby.

“She arrived some days ago to visit them. I believe a boyfriend had asked her to visit the couple when she came to Brazil because they had been described as ‘good people to meet’.

“I saw her once, but as a manager of the centre, I gave a statement to the police confirming she hadn’t been staying with us.

“While she was here, I was told by the couple whose names are Neli de Terra and Luiz Vasconcelos, that Katherine would normally go into the forest to meditate so they didn’t think anything was strange when she went out last Sunday.

Mr da Silva explained: “UniPermacultura is an ecological village run by Rio Grande do Sul University. We have many students who come from all over Brazil to study degree and diploma courses with us on environmental planning, improving our habitat and learning about sustainable rural

and urban development.

“The centre hasn’t been able to admit new students for a year because we are currently full, and we are now just offering courses online.”

At the time the eco-village manager added police were monitoring the use of the missing Brit’s credit card to see if any cash has been withdrawn and agents at Salgado Filho airport were checking all passengers in case she arrived at the international terminal.