Woman, 72, Survives 9 Days Lost in Arizona Wilderness

An air crew spotted her 'HELP' sign
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2016 3:16 AM CDT
Updated Apr 13, 2016 4:03 AM CDT
Woman, 72, Survives 9 Days Lost in Arizona Wilderness
This aerial photo taken provided by the Arizona Department of Public Safety shows a "Help" sign made by Ann Rodgers, 72, in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona.    (Arizona Department of Public Safety via AP)

Ann Rodgers may not have the greatest navigation skills in the world, but the 72-year-old appears to have amazing survival skills. Authorities say that after Rodgers somehow became lost while driving from Tucson to Phoenix to visit her grandchildren, her hybrid vehicle ran out of both gas and electric power and she was stranded in the remote White Mountains for nine days, CBS News reports. Rodgers and her dog survived by drinking creek water and eating berries and desert plants, authorities say. She was rescued, in fair condition despite suffering from exposure, after an air crew spotted a "HELP" sign she had made from sticks and stones.

After the sign was spotted, rescuers found a note from Rodgers indicating she had moved down the canyon, and she was found next to a signal fire she had lit. She tells Tucson News Now that she spent the first night in her car, but after she ran low on water, she decided to move on in hopes of finding people or at least a cell phone signal. Survival instructor Cody Lundin tells the Arizona Republic that it is "very rare, statistically abnormal, and freakish" for Rodgers to have survived so long, and she would have had little hope in a colder season. The AP notes that Tucson to Phoenix is a straight shot on Interstate 10, so it's not clear how Rodgers became so lost. (A "HELP" sign also saved these castaways in the Pacific.)

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