‘He needs urgent help’: Grant Hackett found safe

The swimmer went missing for several hours on Thursday.

The swimmer went missing for several hours on Thursday. Photo: Getty

Troubled swimmer Grant Hackett has been found ‘safe and well’ on the Gold Coast after going missing for several hours on Thursday.

Hackett is said to be “alive and sober” after being reported missing by his father Nev.

Nev said the family was “fearing the worst” for Grant until he made contact with police late on Thursday afternoon.

But now, Hackett has reportedly gone into hiding and ”very, very embarrassed” about what has occurred.

“He’s actually in hiding from everyone, including us, because he’s very, very embarrassed about all this,” Nev said.

He reported his son missing earlier in the day and asked for help from the public to help locate him.

Mr Hackett said his son was “mentally disturbed” and “needs urgent help”.

Hackett — who was arrested on Wednesday after reports of a disturbance at the Gold Coast home of his parents but later released without charge — also accused his brother of assaulting him.

The 36-year-old, who won three Olympic gold medals for Australia, posted on Instagram a photo of his black eye and said that his brother “beat the s**t out of me” — a claim that came a day after his brother, Craig, addressed the media to say Grant was “a danger to the community”.

An emotional Nev Hackett told reporters on Thursday: “He left a hotel at the Gold Coast at 7.30am [local time] this morning … we are extremely worried about him.

“His doctor can’t find him, he hasn’t kept in touch with his lawyer.

“When we spoke to him [Grant] several hours ago, he just hung up when we asked him where he was.”

Nev, a former police inspector, said his son was “very depressed and not in a good condition” when he was last seen and believed it was “vital we find him as quickly as possible”.

“He’s definitely a missing person and he’s mentally disturbed and needs urgent help,” he said.

“If anybody has seen him, to contact the media or the police or the Hackett family.

“Grant, let us know where you are. We love you and we want to help you.”

Nine News senior correspondent Tom Steinfort posted on Twitter that Hackett was last seen at the Versace Hotel at Main Beach on the northern Gold Coast.

Grant Hackett's father, Nev, addressing the media on Thursday. Photo: AAP.

Grant Hackett’s father, Nev, addressing the media on Thursday. Photo: AAP.

Hackett’s Instagram post prompted reporters to approach his father for comment but then he said: “There’s nothing more to say.

“Every time I say something he gets upset.”

It is unclear when the photo of the hurt Hackett was taken.

It was believed Hackett was at the Gold Coast’s Pindara Hospital seeking treatment before news of his disappearance broke on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Craig Hackett spoke of his family’s anguish at Grant’s battle.

“This is now a chronic problem and it looks like it’s not going to go away in a hurry,” he said.

“The whole family have been doing all that we can but now it’s kind of out of our hands, it really is.

“The Grant Hackett that Australia fell in love with, they can still have that affection towards him.

(But) this is not Grant Hackett. This is a completely different person. I don’t know this person, my mum and dad don’t know this person. He’s there in body but he’s not there in mind, soul or spirit.”

Hackett has a history of trouble and was detained by police last year following a mid-air altercation with a passenger on a flight.

He has also been previously treated for dependency on sleeping pill Stilnox, and, in 2011, was accused of trashing his luxury Melbourne penthouse apartment after a heated dispute with ex-wife Candice Alley.

If you’re experiencing difficulties, help is available. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 46 36.

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