Utah Boy Survived Night in Woods by Curling up in Warm Rocks

26 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Here’s how a boy survived a night in the Utah mountains; don’t thank a dog.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A 10-year-old boy found safe after more than a day alone in remote eastern Utah backcountry said Tuesday he remembered the survival skills his father taught him and curled up between rocks still warm from the sun to survive the cold mountain night.The boy’s location was relayed to a Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter, which then landed and picked the youth up — a little more than 5 miles away from where he had last been seen by the Salt Lake County family. Malachi had been learning about wild mushrooms, and he wandered deep into the woods searching for new specimens after a hike with family to a mountain lake. Malachi Bradley survived by curling up between some rocks as temperatures as dipped into the upper 30s overnight, Uintah County Sheriff Vance Norton said.

Meanwhile, dozens of search and rescue workers were combing the area on horses and ATVs, and in the air, but they couldn’t spot Malachi in the wooded terrain. His aunt Lehua Estrada-Brown said she got a text from her husband at the scene saying the boy was found Monday afternoon in good shape. “We are so relieved and happy,” she said. The residual warmth helped him get through the night, though it also threw off infrared heat detectors used by the search teams as it got dark, police said. When he didn’t return after about 30 minutes, his worried father hiked back to the car at Paradise Park Campground in Ashley National Forest, drove to an area with cellphone reception and called 911. Paul Lake, where the Bradleys had been camping, is near the top of a nearly 10,000-foot mountain, though the terrain around the lake itself is relatively flat.

When she saw it land, his mother was overwhelmed with relief. “He’s healthy and he’s coming up and this is going to be all over and it’s not a tragedy,” Chrisman said, describing her reaction to the news. His son Garrett Bardsley vanished in 2004 as he walked near the family’s campsite in the Uintas, and no trace of the 12-year-old boy has ever been found.

Though the night was cold, Malachi was lucky that temperatures didn’t drop further and no sudden storms developed in the high-elevation area, Norton said.

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