Hiking is fun and thrilling but if one is going to do it alone, a lot of things can go awry. This is what happened to a man who got lost in the wilderness of San Bernardino National Forest in Southern California.
His nightmare experience in the forest lasted for two weeks until he finally got help from a kind-hearted couple.
After Thanksgiving, Allison Scott and her boyfriend Freddie Valdivia went to San Bernardino National Forest to camp and spend some time together. Just after they found a remote spot to camp, they heard something that caught their attention.
“A plane flew by pretty low and we heard somebody yelling ‘help,’ and so I called out ‘hello’ and he heard us and he kept yelling,” said Scott.
They followed the voice until they saw a man from afar, looking distressed. “My boyfriend is looking over the ridge and calling out, ‘Hey, I see you.”
It took the couple 30 minutes to reach the man’s location because of the rugged terrain. The man was not in a good condition, with apparent injuries.
“He had a stick with a water bottle on it trying to signal. He couldn’t walk. His feet were swollen and infected just from walking so much, and possibly the cold where he was,” Scott explained.
When they reached the man and got to talk to him, he introduced himself as Eric. He said he was from Oceanside and he had been in the forest for two weeks after he got lost. He also told them he survived for days with only half a jar of salsa.
“He was pretty out of it. He was obviously starving; he wasn’t super dehydrated because he was drinking creek water,” Scott said.
“But he told us he had taken a cab up and was hiking up to Big Bear from Angelus Oaks and he had gotten lost and he had been trying to find somebody to help him for days.
The couple immediately called 9-1-1 but before help came, they got to talk about Eric’s unfortunate experiences alone in the forest. He shared that he lost his lighter but miraculously survived the freezing temperatures.
“He showed me the area where he was sleeping and the little home that he had built. He was pretty close to a creek and right under a flight path so he started camping out there hoping somebody would notice him and he said he had given up a few days prior,” shared Scott.
Eric had a really tough experience but thanks to the couple, he got out of the forest alive. For him, it was a “Thanksgiving miracle” and he was very grateful for the kindness that the couple showed him.
After their conversation, a helicopter from San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department lifted Eric, who suffered from minor injuries, and transported him to the ambulance.
According to Scott, Eric offered them money but they nicely refused. It was enough for the couple they got to help someone in need.
They will always remember Eric’s amazing survival experience and will be happy to share this story with others for a long time.
“I never thought that I would be that person to find a missing person so this is very incredible. I’m just happy he seemed OK,” Scott said.
Though the authorities could not confirm how Eric is currently doing, the couple assured that Eric is recovering.
He actually told them in the forest that he would love to treat them to dinner one day to repay their kindness. Scott and Valdivia are looking forward to the day they are going to meet Eric again and get to know him more.
Watch this video to know more about Eric’s incredible survival experience:
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