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Missing Hiker Stranded For 10 Days In Santa Cruz Mountains Is Finally Found

View from a distance of a missing man reuniting with two family members - they're hugging in a wooded area. First responders gather around them

Lukas McClish and his family are no strangers to hiking. Living in California, they’ve done so together, and individually, countless times. That’s why, when Lukas didn’t come home after a three-hour hike on June 11, his family was surprised. Once he didn’t show up for Father’s Day dinner, his family officially reported the Santa Cruz hiker to be missing. This prompted a number of local first responders to gather in search of Lukas.

Still, after 10 days of searching the area, this 34-year-old hiker could not be found. As is the case with any missing person, they had reached a point where time was running out. Thankfully, that’s exactly when a miracle happened. As Lukas screamed out for help around Foreman Creek off of Big Basin Highway, folks just so happened to hear him. In turn, first responders were finally able to locate him!

“We utilized several of our drones to help determine Lukas’ exact location,” the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office says in a social media post. “State Parks rangers were first on scene with Lukas, and fire crews were able to assist in bringing him to safety. Lukas had no major injuries and was reunited with his family.”

Santa Cruz Hiker Missing For 10 Days Finally Reunites With His Family

Lukas McClish smiles as he poses for a photo while sitting in a chair.

Surviving alone while lost in the woods is no easy feat. This is especially true since the only things Lukas had with him were a pair of pants, hiking boots, a hat, flashlight, and folding scissors. So, how did he make it, exactly? According to Lukas, drinking water greatly aided in his survival.

“I just made sure I drank a gallon of water every day,” Lukas explains before adding, “but then after, getting close to the end of it, my body needed food and some kind of sustenance.”

In other words, it’s clear that the help Lukas so desperately needed arrived just in the nick of time.

“Thank you to each agency and our dispatch for helping relay all of the information to necessary departments,” the sheriff’s office continues in their post. “This truly was a team effort with the best outcome we could have hoped for.”

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here!

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