UPDATE: IT WAS a text message to bring terror to any father: "I've been taken by a man... please hurry."
British backpacker Mary Kate Heys feared for her life as her 22-year-old Swedish friend refused to let her leave a car as he drove from the Sunshine Coast to Gympie early yesterday morning.
The 20-year-old woman described the man's state as "manic" as she told the Courier Mail of her ordeal.
The man woke her up at the Mooloolaba hostel she was staying, asking if she wanted to go on "an adventure".
While she agreed to go with him because she was concerned for his safety, she became frightened when he refused to let her leave.
"He kept talking about how 'they' were coming to get us and we had to get to Cairns to escape, I was so scared and I thought I was going to die," Ms Heys said.
She was forced to send secret text messages to her father in Britain asking him to call Australian police, under the guise of giving the driver directions.
At one point, Ms Heys told her father, "He thinks he's an alien."
Police caught up with the pair in Gympie, on the Bruce Hwy near Archery Park at 7am.
Ms Heys spoke of her relief as she saw the police car's lights flashing.
"I didn't even wait for [the car] to stop moving, I just ran out because I was so terrified," she said.
Police took the man to Gympie Hospital for non-physical health concerns, before an ambulance transferred him to Nambour Hospital.
Ms Heys has withdrawn her complaint against the man, and said she hoped he would receive help rather than go to jail.
EARLIER: A BACKPACKER who thought she was 'going to die' sent secret text messages to her dad in the UK desperately asking for help.
Mary Kate Heys, 20, had been staying at a Mooloolaba hostel when she was woken at about 4.30am on Monday by her 22-year-old Swedish friend in a "manic state" asking her to "go on an adventure", she told The Courier Mail.
"He took off really fast and that's when I realised I was in trouble," she said.
"He kept talking about how 'they' were coming to get us and we had to get to Cairns to escape, I was so scared and I thought I was going to die.''
Ms Heys sent text messages from the car to her dad in the UK asking him to contact Australian police.
She told her father she had been "taken by a man", who thought he was an alien, and that he was driving her to Cairns and wouldn't let her go.
Police caught up with the pair at Gympie.
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