February 08, 2012
A family of three was found in the Oregon wilderness after being lost for six days while hunting for mushrooms.
According to the New York Daily News, Belinda and Daniel Conne, along with their 25-year-old son, Michael, and pit bull, Jesse, were stranded in the woods several miles outside Gold Beach, Ore., for six days without food, water or warm clothing, surviving by drinking water from a stream and taking shelter in a hollowed out tree.
The trio had set out the previous Sunday, Jan. 29, but could not find the way back to their Jeep at dusk. Search parties were dispatched Tuesday covering a 4-square-mile area.
The family was finally able to flash a signal using the glare off a cell phone screen and a knife blade to a helicopter piloted by Jackson County Commissioner John Rachor. When the Connes were found, they were only about 200 yards from the nearest group of searchers.
"lt was just a real happy feeling 'cause we knew we wasn't going to die out there," Daniel said. Once the family was found, they were airlifted to a hospital in Gold Beach.
The family considered eating their pit bull, for food, but enjoyed sandwiches and potato soup at the hospital without having to sacrifice their pet.
"She's that good a dog, she'd have done it, too," Daniel said.
According to Curry County Sheriff John Bishop, Daniel suffered a back injury, Belinda had hypothermia, Michael sprained a foot and had minor frostbite, and all three were dehydrated.
If you ask Bishop, they're lucky that's all that happened.
"It's a miracle, really," Bishop said, adding that the family apparently "just got turned around," but was unable to signal low-flying helicopters because of the dense vegetation.