Hiker Rescued After 10 Days Lost In The Santa Cruz Mountains

June 24, 2024

Today's good news story comes from Santa Cruz, California.

Lukas McClish, 34, of Boulder Creek, has been rescued after being lost for 10 days in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The avid hiker had set out for what he thought would be a brief three-hour hike, but the adventure turned perilous when he became disoriented, unable to recognize landmarks that had been altered by recent fires.

missing hiker found good news

When McClish failed to arrive for a Father's Day dinner on June 16, his family reported him missing, prompting a widespread search.

"I left with just a pair of pants, my hiking shoes, and a hat. I had a flashlight and a pair of folding scissors, like a Leatherman tool. And that was about it," McClish shared with ABC News.

His survival strategy included drinking ample water, ensuring he consumed about a gallon daily to stave off dehydration. However, as days wore on, the need for food became critical.

The search operation, spearheaded by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office, saw the collaboration of multiple agencies, including drones from the Cal Fire San Mateo-Santa Cruz unit, and ground support from the Boulder Creek Fire Department and California State Parks. The intensive effort paid off when, around 3 p.m. on Thursday, searchers responding to reports of someone calling for help discovered McClish in a remote canyon within Big Basin State Park.

Moved by the outpouring of support and the dedication of the search teams, McClish expressed his deep gratitude. "It was just really humbling and I don't know, it was an awesome experience," he said, visibly emotional as he recounted the moment of his rescue.

Watch the video below.

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