SoCal couple helps rescue injured hiker stranded for two weeks near Big Bear Wilderness

BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. (KABC) — A stranded hiker was able to survive alone in the Southern California wilderness for two weeks until he was spotted by a couple on a nearby camping trip.

Allison Scott said she and her boyfriend decided to go camping the day after Thanksgiving.

They decided to camp at a spot between Big Bear Lake and Angelus Oaks. But what started out as a fun camping trip quickly turned into a rescue mission.

“We were under a flight path and a plane went by pretty low and we heard someone yelling for help,” Scott said.

She said that person was a man named Eric.

“We end up finding him and my friend looks over the ridge and yells, ‘Hey, I see you,'” Scott said. “He had a stick with a water bottle on it trying to give a signal. He couldn’t walk. His feet were extremely swollen and infected just from walking so much and possibly from the cold of where he was.”

The hiker told the couple he is from Oceanside and had been there for two weeks after getting lost. Eric told them he survived on half a glass of salsa.

“When we found him he said, ‘It’s a Thanksgiving miracle,'” Scott recalled.

Scott contacted 911 and a helicopter arrived within 15 minutes.

The helicopter rescued Eric, but Scott said she tried to track him down to make sure he was okay.

The good news is that Eric is doing better.

“He said he didn’t have a cell phone. We have his landline phone and he said, ‘Anytime you’re in Oceanside, I take you out to dinner. Just give me a call,'” Scott said.

“He also said, ‘I’m very sorry I put a damper on your camping trip,’ and I said, ‘I’m just glad you’re okay,'” Scott said. “‘I’m glad we found you.'”

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Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved. SoCal couple helps rescue injured hiker stranded for two weeks near Big Bear Wilderness

Laura Coffey

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