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A story of survival

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Alpha Dog, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. Alpha Dog

    Alpha Dog survival of the breed

    Read this and thought I would pass it on.

    Ore. mushroom pickers found alive after 6 days

    ap_logo_106. <CITE class="byline vcard">By NIGEL DUARA | Associated Press – <ABBR class=updated title=2012-02-05T01:27:47Z>11 hrs ago</ABBR></CITE>

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    • d4720c009f144803060f6a706700b067. Enlarge Photo This undated photo provided by Karanda Williams shows Daniel and Belinda Conne. The …

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    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A family of three huddled on the edge of an old-growth Oregon forest for six days, lost and cold, unable to signal search helicopters flying low and slow overhead.
    Without food, water or even warm clothing, Belinda and Daniel Conne, along with their 25-year-old son, Michael, survived by drinking water from streams and taking shelter in a hollowed-out tree.
    On Saturday, they managed to crawl to a clearing, where a search helicopter spotted them several miles outside the community of Gold Beach, roughly 330 miles south-southwest of Portland.
    "It's a miracle, really," Curry County Sheriff John Bishop said.
    The three were airlifted to a Gold Beach hospital, where Bishop spoke with them at an emergency room.
    The family told Bishop they could see helicopters just a few hundred feet above them while they were lost, but couldn't signal rescuers.
    Bishop said Daniel Conne suffered a back injury, Belinda Conne had hypothermia, and their son had a sprained foot and minor frostbite. All three also were dehydrated and hungry.
    "They just got turned around," Bishop said. "They sought some shelter in a hollowed-out tree and basically they stayed in the same place. But it was heavy vegetation where they were."
    Bishop said the three were "remarkably in pretty good shape," given the amount of time they spent outside. He said they likely could have survived for two or three more days in the area, where fresh water is plentiful but food is scarce.
    The area's weather was mostly clear, with temperatures in the 40s and 50s.
    A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter flew the family to Curry General Hospital in Gold Beach. A nursing supervisor said Saturday afternoon the family members were in a doctor's care and were unavailable for comment.
    At the hospital emergency room, Bishop said the Connes were "very thankful for the rescue" and were able to eat solid food.
    The ordeal began last Sunday when the three went out looking for hedgehog mushrooms, an orange-topped fungus prized by mushroom hunters for its sweet and nutty flavor. The family had been living in a trailer at a campsite after leaving Oklahoma for Oregon last summer.
    Dusk fell during their hunt. They started to return to their Jeep but couldn't agree on directions.
    "Pretty quickly, they found they were lost," Bishop said.
    The family found a forest road next to a river bank and huddled together with their dog, a pit-terrier mix.
    Search parties were dispatched Tuesday, when their campsite manager realized the Connes hadn't returned. The Jeep was found on a logging road Wednesday, along with two small dogs and the family's jackets.
    Searchers found a trail and a few hopeful clues along the way: a can of Pepsi, mushroom-picking buckets, a few pieces of clothing.
    Bishop said Daniel Conne told him he had a sinking feeling every day the family wasn't found. Conne would watch the search helicopter pass, but had nothing with which to signal it through the thick coastal forest vegetation.
    "They said, 'You were right above us,'" Bishop said.
    When the family was finally found Saturday, they were only 200 yards from the nearest group of searchers.
    The search had focused on a 4-square-mile area. Bishop said the family was in the search area but likely kept moving, making the search for them more difficult.
    "We were actually right near them all three days" of the search, Bishop said. In the area's canyons, "you think people can hear you, but they can't."
    The search involved three Southern Oregon counties and one California county.
    When dawn broke Saturday, Bishop said searchers entered the woods without much hope.
    "We were sort of getting ready to go into body-recovery mode," he said.
    Joe Dykes, who works at the Huntley Park campsite where the family was staying, said Belinda and Daniel Conne arrived at the campsite in July after moving there from Oklahoma. Their son arrived later.
    Belinda Conne works as a housekeeper at the Jot's Resort, where motel owner Virginia McKinney said the Connes were preparing to rent a home in Gold Beach before the disappearance.
    McKinney said Belinda told her she always wanted to live on the Oregon coast, and finally left Oklahoma last year with the intention of settling down.
    The area where the Connes were found is rugged country in the Klamath Mountains riddled with a maze of logging roads. People frequently get lost or stranded there.
    In 2006, a San Francisco family was stranded in a snowstorm on a logging road about 35 miles northeast of the search area for the Connes. James Kim died of hypothermia trying to hike out, but his wife and children were rescued by a helicopter pilot.
    Gator 45/70 and Cephus like this.
  2. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    gps.......its not that hard.
    Alpha Dog likes this.
  3. Alpha Dog

    Alpha Dog survival of the breed

    I was thinking and looking in from the outside a small pocket survival kit would have a huge difference or a three day pack. When me and the ol'lady goes out no matter if we have been there a hundred times we carry our small packs.
    tulianr, Cephus, Sapper John and 2 others like this.
  4. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    If the area was mountainous; a GPS doesn't always work.

    When I-40 was closed to the west of Asheville NC. due to a rock slide; the warnings included GPS does not work.
    Cephus and Alpha Dog like this.
  5. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    Duh, compass, watch, topo map, light backpack, water, energy bars, candies, fuel starter and fire starter, space blankets for everyone, knife, signal mirror, red smoke device as required in boating or 3 in waterproof pouch, hatchet. Everyone should have a light jacket and a hat, and a few working brain cells.
    In an unfamiliar area I start with a plan with backups and emergency outs. I know in advance where I am going to start, and in which direction I am going to head out. I don't just wander. I use natural boundries and landmarks that stand out. I check direction of travel periodically. I keep track of the sun and know in advance what time sunset is. When roughly 40% of daylight is used up doing whatever I am out there for I wrap it up and head back at a brisk pace. If I have been out there 4 hours, and now have 6 hours until sundown, if my return is done at a brisk pace I shoud be back to the start point in less than 2 hours. The return is done on a general reciprocal course if not exact retracing of original course using same landmarks and boundries. If not back in 2 hours, with 4 hours sunlight left, a decision should be made as to whether to make shelter and hunker down relatively comfortably overnight, or to strike out directly toward a known boundry or landmark to reorient for return to start point. 2 hours before sundown I am going to hunker down with a campfire and makeshift shelter ..... tomorrow is another day, no need to panic. jmho
    If gps will work there fine, use them, ditto cell phone, if not a compass and a little knowledge has always got me thru.
    On return trip to the same area, as you become more and more familiar with the area, you can stretch that 40% figure as far as you are comfortable with.
    TnAndy, chelloveck, Cephus and 2 others like this.
  6. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    This is down in MountainMan's, and Pax's country... I would be very interested in their views on the story. Seems to this reader, these folks were not well educated in the ways of the wilderness, and certainly were very lucky that they did not perish. ..... YMMV....
    Alpha Dog likes this.
  7. snowbyrd

    snowbyrd Latet anguis in herba

    Having lived in that area I do understand getting turned around. I do not understand not having a day pack/BOB with you, even a few yards from the road.
    When I was SAR we had to 'bag and tag' alot of IDIOTS like these folks.
    Besides the GOOD mushrooms are in the cow pastures.............
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  8. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    The Rule of 3s apply!

    The Rule of 3s apply! 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, 3 hours without shelter, 3 minutes without air, 3 seconds without thinking sensibly.

    Sound advice Tac.....but the importance of having "a few working brain cells" cannot be over emphasised, or under estimated. Having...and actually using a few brain cells will, usually help a sensible person to avoid their getting into strife in the first place....and, failing that,...using their brain cells effectively may give them a better chance of getting themselves out of the strife that they got themselves into by not engaging their brain cells in the first instance.

    Having a plan, having some basic supplies and survival necessities, and doing a little risk assessment and management, can mean the difference between life and death...being unprepared, ill equipped and trusting to luck and prayer having blindly fallen into the bear pit, is not a prescription for a very long life.
  9. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    It was not survival as the story is titled.

    They were in the banana belt of the Oregon Coast, one of best places to live on the Oregon Coast climate wise. The climate there is much milder in this area than the rest of the coast. One does not need to go much further north, to see the difference in climate.

    The vast majority of the Oregon Coast this time of year is cold and wet. For those of you that have never been I can not explain to you just how much it can rain and how cold the dampness feels to your body on the Oregon coast in the winter. 40-50 degrees and raining with some wind and no shelter for 6 days would have been a different story possibly. 20-30 degrees and snowing in Eastern Oregon actually feels warmer than the climate on the Oregon Coast and parts of Western Oregon/Washington.

    I have hunted and hiked on the Oregon Coast during the winter months with good gear on and a pack with supplies. Walking through the thick brush and good gear you can still get wet walking through the brush. The conditions can be quite miserable even with good rain gear, waterproof boots and non cotton warm clothes as a base underneath on. A pairs of gaitors is almost a necessity walking in the brush around here, to keep the water from wicking up your pant legs under your rain gear.

    Plain and simple, they were lucky this was not elsewhere and at best that it was not raining those 6 days. They could have very well become fertilizer for the ferns and mushrooms.
    BTPost likes this.
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