NEWS

Pensioner Lost For 9 Days In Forest Saved Thanks To This Clever SOS

Her hybrid vehicle ran out of gas and electric power.

13/04/2016 16:11 | Updated 13 April 2016

A pensioner lost in a forest for nine days survived by drinking pond water, eating plants and spelling out "help" on the ground with sticks.

The sign helped lead rescuers to Ann Rodgers, 72, in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona earlier this month, the state Department of Public Safety said.

Rodgers told a Tucson TV station on Tuesday that she had food and water in her car but ran out after several days and turned to survival mode.

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The 72-year-old was located after rescuers spotted this 'Help' sign made of sticks and stones 

"I was eating desert plants. My dog was too, diving into clovers and finding all the places that were the easiest to go," she told KOLD.

Rodgers went missing on 31 March as she headed to visit her grandchildren in Phoenix. She got lost, and her hybrid vehicle ran out of gas and electric power, the Associated Press reports. 

Her car was discovered three days after a search began, but rescue crews struggled to find her.

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Ann Rodgers is helped to safety after her nine days in the wilderness 

Authorities came across her dog on 9 April, and a department flight crew spotted a "help" signal made of sticks and rocks on the ground. Rodgers had left the area, but she was found nearby on the Fort Apache Reservation after starting a signal fire.

Rodgers said she was waving to the helicopter. When it landed to rescue her, she sat down and cried.

The Department of Public Safety said Rodgers was suffering from exposure, but she was in fair condition and able to walk to and board the helicopter with little assistance. She was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Payson for treatment and later released.

Rodgers is from Tucson and was on a hike on a Tuesday afternoon, the Department of Public Safety said. It was not clear how she ended up in the eastern part of the state because the drive from Tucson to Phoenix is a straight shot on Interstate 10, which does not run through the area where she was found.

Rodgers' rescue came after three men who spelled out "help" with palm fronds were saved from a remote Pacific island last week. They swam to a tiny Micronesian island when their boat capsized, and searchers spotted them two days later.

 

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