A Northern California woman survived six days being stranded in the wilderness by rationing a six-pack of yogurt, eating one per day, and consuming snow, according to the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheena Gullett, 52, and her friend Justin Lonich, 48, were driving to Little Valley on a dirt road off Highway 44 when their vehicle became stuck in the snow about 2:40 a.m. on Thursday, April 14, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
The duo spent the night in their vehicle, but by the morning the battery had died.
They attempted to walk back to the highway to seek help, but became separated after Gullett fell behind when the soles of her boots fell off in the rough terrain, according to the statement.
Lonich went back to find Gullett, but was unable to locate her in the heavy snowfall. He sought shelter and built a campfire. On Saturday morning, Justin continued walking until he came to a gravel road, where he again sought shelter for the night. Finally on Sunday, April 17, Justin was able to reach Highway 44, where he hitched a ride into the nearby town of Susanville.
On April 18, Lonich reported that Gullett was still stranded in the forest, possibly with their vehicle, according to the statement.
“Justin was not familiar with the area and the roads they had been traveling on,” police said. “From the time Justin reported this incident, Sheriff’s deputies, sergeants, detectives, and US Forest Service personnel conducted ground searches every day.”
They added, “On one day, when the weather was clear, the California Highway Patrol flew the search area in a helicopter in conjunction with a ground search team, but they were unable to locate the vehicle or Sheena. Further searches from the air were unable to be conducted due to inclement weather.”
On April 20, Lonich rode along with a sheriff’s deputy in the search area to assist with pointing out where he and Gullett’s vehicle got stuck in the snow. Several hours later, the sheriff’s sergeant located the car, in which Gullett was hunkered down, according to the statement.
“She was very emotional, but physically okay,” police said.
Gullett was then transported to the Bogard Ranger Station to receive a medical evaluation.
She told authorities that she consumed a six-pack of yogurt over the six day period, according to the statement. She did not have any water and had also been consuming snow.
Gullett added that she saw the helicopter fly over the forest where she was stranded a few days earlier but rescuers couldn’t spot her in the heavily wooded area.
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