Waiting for a miracle: Mates keep vigil for missing backpacker

FRIENDS of missing backpacker Arvid Stenzel say it’ll take a miracle for their “funny and friendly” mate to be found alive following his mysterious disappearance in the early hours on Sunday morning at Lake Canobolas.

Aljoscha Kraemer said Mr Stenzel was one of a group of 11 German travellers who were camping at Lake Canobolas while they picked apples at a nearby orchard.

On Saturday night the group had been celebrating the end of six days of work, knowing Sunday was their only day off.

The group spent time listening to music, talking and laughing while enjoying a few drinks.

Mr Kraemer said a few of them decided to go for a walk early on Sunday morning and at around 2am, as they crossed the footbridge linking both sides of the lake, Mr Stenzel told his friends he felt like going for a swim.

“We all thought it was a joke because it’s too cold to swim,” Mr Kraemer said.

“This is horrible, we can’t do anything ... We will just wait together until something happens"

The group returned to their nearby campsite, however it wasn’t until the next morning that they discovered Mr Stenzel was missing.

“I just feel really sad,” Mr Kraemer said.

“He’s just such a nice guy, he was funny and a sportsman.

“He was the best travel mate.”

Mr Kraemer said the friends had pledged to remain at the lake until Mr Stenzel was found.

One of Mr Stenzel’s friends, who didn’t want to be named, said while he was “very upset” he remained hopeful there’d be a positive outcome.

“This is horrible, we can’t do anything,” he said.

“He was just a person that everyone liked. 

“That night he was just jamming and listening to music.”

The group, who had only been in Orange for a week, had planned to pick for another month but are now unsure what the future holds.

“We will just wait together until something happens,” Mr Kraemer said.

“I just hope he’s somewhere around.”

tracey.prisk@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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