Only On KCAL9: Couple Relates Story Of Rescuing Stranded Hiker Missing 4 Days
SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA.com) — A Reseda man is recovering Thursday following a dangerous and horrific four-day ordeal stranded in Placerita Canyon in the Angeles National Forest.
The man had to resort to desperate measures to stay alive, including drinking his own urine.
A newlywed couple who found the stranded hiker told KCAL9's Juan Fernandez the man is lucky to be alive.
Fernandez' story of survival is a story only seen on KCAL9.
Tyler and Samantha Knapp were hiking in Placerita Canyon Thursday morning when they said they heard faint cries of "help."
Knapp, an experienced hiker and nature center volunteer, was able to locate where the screams were coming from -- a spot just off Waterfall Trail.
"The sound just seemed to be echoing off where we were standing," said Tyler.
The area is dense with brush.
"I couldn't see [the stranded hiker] at all," said Samantha, "there was way too much brush."
Tyler called 911 while Samantha remained on the lookout until help could arrive.
To get to the injured man, Tyler had to climb down the side of a hill.
"It was very stressful," she says, "Just glad we were able to help."
In broken English, the stranded hiker told Tyler his name was Miguel and that he lived in Reseda. He's also said he'd been lost for four days.
The hiker said he lived off toyon berries and his own urine, until he found water two days ago.
"He could stand with our help, but he couldn't walk on his own. He was really weak. He hadn't really eaten anything for four days," said Tyler.
Samantha shot cell phone video of the hiker being airlifted out and taken to Henry Mayo Hospital in Newhall.
Miguel ended up having minor injuries, mostly scratches, but he appeared to be very week.
Fernandez asked the Knapps if they felt like heroes -- they don't.
The LA County Department of Parks and Recreation believes otherwise -- they've recognized Tyler on their Twitter page.
Tyler said he was glad to be able to remind people to only go hiking if they are experienced and prepared.
"I'm just really glad we had the chance to help him," said Tyler.
Fernandez reported it's something of a mystery as to how Miguel ended up stranded in Placerita Canyon in the first place as he didn't have a parked car nearby.
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