California hiker missing for 10 days in wild, survived by only drinking water from boot - Hindustan Times
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California hiker missing for 10 days in wild, survived by only drinking water from boot

ByBhavika Rathore
Jun 25, 2024 12:53 PM IST

A missing hiker was rescued alive after being stranded in the mountains for 10 days.

California hiker, Lucas McClish, went missing on June 11 when he went out for a three-hour hike in his hometown, Boulder Creek. His family filed a missing report on June 16, when he did not show up for Father’s Day family dinner. He had been missing for nearly 10 days when he was found by the rescue team in the mountains.

In this photo provided by SLV Steve, lost hiker Lukas McClish, 34, is reunited with his family on Thursday, June 20, 2024, in the rural community of Boulder Creek, Calif. McClish, who went missing for 10 days, was found safe in the mountains in Northern California, authorities said. (SLV Steve via AP)(AP)
In this photo provided by SLV Steve, lost hiker Lukas McClish, 34, is reunited with his family on Thursday, June 20, 2024, in the rural community of Boulder Creek, Calif. McClish, who went missing for 10 days, was found safe in the mountains in Northern California, authorities said. (SLV Steve via AP)(AP)

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Locals’ report helps county find McClish

The Santa Cruz County’s Office announced the success of finding McClish in a Facebook post on Friday. The missing report filed by the hiker’s family geared up the County officials to find McClish. The official found him in the next four days of sending out search parties in various potential regions. Locals played a major role in aiding the County officials in their search when they reported that they heard someone screaming for help in the area of Foreman Creek off of Big Basin Highway around 3 p.m. on June 20.

The County office wrote in their Facebook post, “Deputies responded with State Parks, Cal Fire and Boulder Creek Fire Department and were able to confirm it was Lukas McClish, who had been missing since Tuesday, June 11”.

The Cal Fire, who assisted the officials of Santa Cruz County shared an X post where they wrote, “multiple reports of witnesses hearing someone yelling for help, but the location of that person was hard to establish”. The Sheriff’s office extended their gratitude as they acknowledged the team efforts of everyone involved which resulted in a positive outcome.

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Estranged Hiker survived on water alone

McClish was lost for 10 days in the forests without any aid for food and water which raised questions about how he survived in the wild. When asked about his survival methods, in an interview with ABC 7, he explained, “I just made sure I drank a gallon of water every day, but then after, getting close to the end of it, my body needed food and some kind of sustenance”. He stored water in his boots and survived by keeping his body hydrated with large sum of water.

As reported by the KSBW, explaining days in the wild, he said, "I go up a canyon, down a canyon to the next waterfall and sit down by the waterfall and drink water out of my boot”. The hiker reportedly ate wild berries and slept on wet leaves while he screamed, "‘Help, help. I’m over here,Or ‘Is anybody out there? I want a burrito and a taco bowl,’ that’s what I thought about every day when after the first five days, when I started to kind of realize that I might be in over my head,” as reported by the New York Post.

The hiker went out that day only in a pair of pants, hiking shoes, folding scissors, a flashlight and a hat as for him it was just a couple of hours long hike.

McClish said it was a humbling experience and he probably has hiked enough to last him the rest of the year.

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