Two female tourists kidnapped in Ecuador while visiting a remote nature reserve in the Amazon jungle say at one point they thought they might be killed.
Briton Kathryn Cox, 23, and Australian Fiona Wilde, 32, were snatched on Friday as they travelled by canoe as part of a tour group in the Cuyabeno nature reserve in the northeast of the country close to the border with Colombia.
Ms Wilde described their terror: "We were very scared, but we could often hear the helicopters above us and that was very comforting while we were in the jungle.
"When the helicopters got right above us the kidnappers made us hide in the bushes and the kidnappers got scared.
"They were, we think, close to maybe killing us. And then for some reason they changed their mind and told us to run and we ran out, towards the helicopters yelling, trying to get their attention."
A huge rescue operation began after one of their tour guides reportedly raised the alarm.
Ecuadorean defence minister Miguel Carvajal believes the kidnappers were panicked into setting them free.
"They released them because of military and police pressure. Around 260 men from the armed forces, 150 police officers, three helicopters were involved," he said.
The women are reported to have been found by a farmer on Saturday, and were flown to a military base in the capital Quito where they were checked over by medical staff.
Ms Wilde has emphasised their gratitude: "The response was beyond our wildest dreams; we didn't think anyone was looking for us. We knew there were choppers and we were hoping they were for us but we weren't sure."
The search is still under way for the kidnappers.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office currently advises against all travel to the areas immediately bordering Colombia in Carchi province due to criminal activity and organised crime.