Lost Hikers Lived on Bugs, Spring Water for Days
3 exchange students rescued in Turkey
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2015 6:34 PM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Three students in their early 20s who set out for a daylong hike in the mountains ended up getting a crash course in survival techniques instead. Brit David Mackie and Dutch friends Frisko De Vries and Merije De Groot are safe after getting stranded for about a week while hiking the Lycian Way in Turkey, reports the BBC. "I've not eaten for seven days now," said Mackie after rescuers finally found the trio, exhausted and hungry but in relatively good shape. "We ate a few ants and things like that and drank spring water from the mountains." The Independent quotes De Vries as telling a Turkish news outlet that "Discovery Channel saved my life. I felt like I was in a documentary channel the whole week."

They say they got lost soon after setting out from Antalya and tried to follow a dry creek bed to the closest town. Then came incessant rain that washed out the creek and forced them to take refuge in a cave, reports the Telegraph. They caught a huge break when Mackie's nearly dead phone finally picked up enough of a signal to place an an emergency call, and a rescue helicopter spotted them. They were brought back to civilization on Jan. 19, though accounts differ on whether they set out on Jan. 11 or Jan. 14. Either way, "none of them are injured," a doctor tells the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News. "They survived ... by drinking water from the river and eating fruits and small bugs." (In Mexico, an American yoga teacher got lost while hiking and never made it out.)