California Hiker Survives Nine Days in Wilderness, Reunites with Family After Dramatic Rescue


A man was found alive on Thursday after spending nine nights alone in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains. McClish, who was not wearing a shirt, survived by drinking creek water and eating wild berries. He claimed to have hiked every day, traversing canyons and sleeping on a bed of leaves at night.

“I’m sore and a little tired and I lost my voice,” McClish told ABC 7 News. “I just made sure I drank a gallon of water every day. But then after getting close to the end of it, my body needed food and some type of sustenance.”

During his ordeal, McClish yelled for help and thought about his desire for a burrito and taco bowl. When someone heard his cries for help, first responders deployed a drone to locate him, and a state park K-9 unit pinpointed his exact location.

McClish’s mother expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support from the community, saying, “I met a lot of people because I had more people come to me and tell me how much they love my son and how they just hoped that we would find him. I didn’t realize that so many people in this town love Luke.”

An image shows the emotional moment McClish was reunited with his family after being rescued.

The moment he was found, McClish was overwhelmed by how many helpers were looking for him.

“It was just really humbling. It was an awesome experience,” he said. McClish also noted he felt comfortable the entire time he was lost and was not worried.

Amy Furr
Amy Furr
Pre-Viral Reporter. Amy covers human interest, politics, crime, health, faith, history, wildlife, and service journalism. Previously, she was a tutor at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, TX and a freelance writer for Townhall Media.

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