Couple camping in California forest rescues lost hiker who lived off half jar of salsa for 2 weeks
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA: A lost hiker in the Southern California wilderness managed to survive on his own for two weeks until he was discovered by a couple camping nearby.
Allison Scott and her boyfriend were camping between Big Bear Lake and Angelus Oaks, California on Black Friday when they heard a man screaming for help. As it turned out to be, the fun camping quickly took a detour and turned into a lucky rescue. "We were underneath a flight path and an airplane went by pretty low and we heard someone yelling for help," Allison told ABC 7 in Los Angeles. The couple tracked the voice and found a man lost in the woods.
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"We end up finding him, and my boyfriend is looking over the ridge and calling out, 'Hey I see you,'" Scott told the outlet as she recalled the awful state the stranded hiker was found in, clearly indicating that he has gone through an ordeal. "He had a stick with a water bottle on it trying to signal. He couldn't walk. His feet were extremely swollen and infected just from walking so much, and possibly the cold where he was." She further stated that the man was called Eric.
Eric told the couple that he had gotten lost two weeks ago after he left his hometown in Oceanside, California which is 30-plus hours walking distance from where he was found. He survived on half a jar of salsa.
"When we did find him, he said 'It's a Thanksgiving miracle,'" Scott said to the news outlet.
Scott dialed 911 and a rescue helicopter recovered Eric within 15 minutes but Scott tracked him down to make sure that he was okay. Moreover, she and her boyfriend plan on staying in touch with him. "He said he doesn't have a cellphone. We have his landline phone and he said, 'Whenever you're in Oceanside, I'll take you out to dinner. Just give me a call,'" Scott said. "He also said, 'I'm very sorry for putting a damper on your camping trip,' and I said, 'I'm just glad you're OK,'" Scott said while also adding that she is "glad we found you.'"
According to Outside Online, Battalion Chief and spokesperson for the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District Mike McClintock said in a statement via email that rescue crews were sent to Eric's location before authorities asked for a helicopter. He was then taken to an ambulance as he had suffered "minor injuries." He seems to be doing better, as per ABC 7.