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Boy with autism rescued after travelling up Melbourne river to next suburb



A young boy with autism was rescued from a Melbourne river bank after he became lost and travelled up the waterway to another suburb.

The nine-year-old boy was exhausted and unable to walk because his legs were so numb from the cold when police pulled him from the banks of the Maribyrnong River in Avondale Heights after 7.30pm on Monday.

A stranger had called police after spotting him swimming in the river near Peerless Court about 7.30pm.

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The boy had been reported missing two hours earlier in the suburb of Braybrook.

It is understood he travelled across the suburbs up the river in that time.

First Constable Jesse Kozak rescued the boy and carried him to safety.

"The child was not only struggling in the water, we soon realised he was also struggling to communicate and was unable to shout for help," he said.

"He was shivering in the water, and when we managed to rescue him, he was exhausted and unable to walk."

Kozak said police were shocked when they later realised how far the boy had travelled.

Officers carried him around 1.5km up a steep hill to Peerless Court, where he was treated by paramedics.

Kozak said the outcome "would have been tragic" if the member of the public had not reported sighting the boy to police.

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