Two 14-year-old sea cadets from Chester sparked a nationwide missing persons alert involving Scotland Yard while on exchange in England this week.
Alexander Rhodenizer and Rachel Nauss were part of a sea cadet troop on a two-week visit to their sister corps in Chester-le-Street, a town about 380 kilometres from London in northeast England.
After arriving in the U.K. on Monday, the teenagers — along with their cadet leader, Mervyn Morash — became separated from the rest of the group in the London subway system. Instead of heading to Chester-le-Street, they ended up in Chester — another city located 250 kilometres southwest of Chester-le-Street — after boarding the wrong train.
After realizing their mistake, they retraced their steps back to London and stayed in a hotel overnight. They didn't have a cellphone and didn't call anyone.
Rhodenizer said no one brought a cellphone because of the extra expense to use them overseas.
All three turned up 24 hours later, safe in Chester-le-Street. But in the meantime, news media in England — including the Telegraph Journal — ran their photographs as missing persons reports and Scotland Yard tried to track them down.
They had no idea they'd been considered missing.
"We had no idea anyone was looking for us and we didn't want to contact home because we didn't know what was going on, we didn't want to make panic on the other side of the world," said Rhodenizer
"We were under the assumption that we were just going to show up and it was all going to be alright."
He said he contacted his parents first upon arriving at the corps in Chester-le-Street.
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