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California Man Survives 9 Days Lost in Santa Cruz Mountains, Rescued After Harrowing Ordeal

California Man Survives 9 Days Lost in Santa Cruz Mountains, Rescued After Harrowing Ordea
California Man Survives 9 Days Lost in Santa Cruz Mountains, Rescued After Harrowing Ordea

A California man, Lukas McClish, intended to embark on a three-hour hike but ended up spending nine days lost in the Santa Cruz mountains. Witnesses eventually heard his calls for help, leading officials to find him disheveled and shirtless, with only a flashlight and a pair of scissors.

McClish, 34, was last seen on June 11 in Boulder Creek, near Big Basin Redwoods State Park. He did not inform anyone about his hike, and when he failed to return for Father’s Day, his family reported him missing.

During his nine-day ordeal, McClish survived by sleeping on wet leaves, drinking creek water from his boot, and eating wild berries. He continuously yelled for help, dreaming of more comforting meals like a burrito and taco bowl.

McClish described his experience as overwhelming after realizing the gravity of his situation, particularly after the first five days. Despite the daunting circumstances, he continued to seek help and sustenance.

McClish’s survival journey involved hiking through canyons and moving from waterfall to waterfall. Remarkably, he encountered a mountain lion that trailed him but maintained a distance.

California Man Survives 9 Days Lost in Santa Cruz Mountains, Rescued After Harrowing Ordea

California Man Survives 9 Days Lost in Santa Cruz Mountains, Rescued After Harrowing Ordea

McClish felt a strange sense of comfort from the presence of the mountain lion, likening it to a guardian watching over him. His family back in Boulder Creek was in distress, particularly his mother, Diane, who struggled to sleep and maintained hope through faith.

Rescue operations involved authorities using drones and rescue dogs to pinpoint McClish’s location following reported cries for help. Upon his rescue, McClish was found with no major injuries and was joyfully reunited with his family, covered in dust but safe. The moment of reunion was filled with relief and gratitude, with McClish embracing his loved ones.

The extensive search effort included dozens of law enforcement officers and first responders from various agencies. McClish’s family expressed profound gratitude to everyone involved in the rescue operation. Diane McClish shared her realization of the community’s affection for her son, with many people expressing their concern and support throughout the search.

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