Your Survival Stories – Part 5: Ann’s Wilderness Survival Story

We asked our subscribers to tell us their survival stories.  And we received a tremendous response.

This one was harrowing and inspiring.  Ann Rodgers spent 9 freezing days and nights in the Arizona wilderness at 72 years young!

Ann didn’t have time to write her story for us, so she sent us this link, reprinted with permission below:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3536550/Woman-lost-9-days-Arizona-forest-wrote-help-sticks.html

 

Woman and her dog lost for nine days in Arizona forest are rescued after searchers find a ‘HELP’ sign she made out of sticks

  • Ann Rodgers, 72, was lost in Arizona forest for more than a week and survived by drinking pond water and eating plants, authorities said
  • A sign she made spelling out ‘HELP’ on the ground with sticks led rescuers to her and her dog in White Mountains of eastern Arizona
  • She went missing on March 31 as she headed to visit her grandchildren in Phoenix, authorities said
  • On April 3, her car was found but crews struggled to locate Rodgers
  • Six days later, they spotted her dog and an aerial search then found the sign; crews eventually located Rodgers standing by a signal fire 

A woman lost in an Arizona forest with her dog for nine days survived by drinking pond water, eating plants and spelling out ‘HELP’ on the ground with sticks, authorities said on Tuesday.

The sign helped lead rescuers to Ann Charon Rodgers, 72, and her dog in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona earlier this month, the state Department of Public Safety (DPS) said.

Rodgers went missing on March 31 as she headed to visit her grandchildren in Phoenix.

331d13b100000578-3536550-ann_charon_rodgers_72-a-26_1460498889095

331d3cd800000578-3536550-image-a-35_1460507358254

Authorities said she got lost and her hybrid vehicle ran out of gas and electric power.

While she and her dog were stranded on a remote stretch of back country road near Canyon Creek on the White River Indian Reservation, she became disoriented, authorities said.

During that time, Rodgers tried to climb several ridge lines in an effort to get mobile service so that she could call for help.

331d13a600000578-3536550-image-a-23_1460498844827-1Rodgers pictured before a helicopter airlifts her to a local hospital for treatment. She went missing on March 31 as she headed to visit her grandchildren in Phoenix

On April 3, the Gila County Sheriff’s Office received a call to assist with a missing person and three days after a search began, her car was discovered but rescue crews struggled to find her.

Authorities eventually came across her dog on April 9 before an aerial search by a DPS flight crew spotted a ‘HELP’ signal made of sticks and rocks on the ground.

331d13a200000578-3536550-image-a-25_1460498863735Since her rescue, Rodgers has been released from the hospital and reunited with her family

A handwritten note dated April 3 was also found under one of the rocks used in the help signal, indicating that Rodgers was out of food and water and was headed down the canyon.

Authorities said they found what appeared to be a shelter that had been abandoned by Rodgers.

Rodgers had left the area where the sign and note was discovered, but she was found nearby in the White Mountain Apache Reservation after starting a signal fire and waving to a helicopter.

She was rescued in fair condition, though suffering from exposure, and was taken to a helicopter that transported her to a hospital in Payson for treatment.

She has since been released from the hospital and reunited with her family.

Rodgers has a Tucson-region area code, but it is not clear where she lives or how she wound up in the eastern part of the state.

The drive from Tucson to Phoenix is a straight shot on Interstate 10, which does not run through the area where she was found.

Rodgers declined to comment when reached by The Associated Press.

331d13b600000578-3536550-image-a-17_1460498702415Rodgers pictured left during her rescue. She has a Tucson-region area code, but it is not clear where she lives or how she wound up in the eastern part of the state

We’ll have more on this story soon!

So what’s your survival story?  Feel free to share it in the comments…

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  1. Sue
    12 months ago

    I would have liked to learn what plants she ate. Also article says nothing about her dog being rescued or showed her dog with her in helicopter.
    What happened to the dog ?


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