Missing Dutch Hiker Found Alive After 18 Days in a Ravine

A Dutch hiker was found alive in Spain Wednesday after spending 18 days trapped at the bottom of a ravine.

Mary Anne Goossens, 48, arrived in Malaga on June 15 for a ten-day vacation then went missing after heading out for a hike near the town of Nerja, reports Fox News. She survived by drinking water from the Chillar River.

She was discovered Wednesday by three hikers who were traveling along the river. They tossed food and clothing to Goossens before alerting mountain rescue. She was airlifted to a nearby hospital.

Amazingly, despite her weakened condition, she was able to walk from the helicopter to the hospital's emergency room.

According to The Telegraph, Goossens said she became lost in the mountains after straying from the hiking path.

It seems that she got lost after spending a day hiking...It got dark very quickly and she kept walking and walking hoping to find a village," Niek Jochemus, a family friend told the paper. "She spent a couple of days walking and then became so weak she couldn't walk anymore and decided it was best to stay near water and hope that someone would find her soon."

Goossens herself told paramedics that she fell into the ravine on the night of June 17 and managed to squeeze herself into a position where she wouldn't be in constant contact with the water, reports Fox.

Thankfully Goossens survived her ordeal with minor injuries. But, her case highlights the need for hikers to follow certain safety precautions.

One misstep Goossens made was to continue hiking after she was lost. The American Hiking Society recommends that those who find themselves lost stop hiking, then try to backtrack if possible. It should go without saying that they also recommend staying on the path in the first place.

Many hikers choose to carry whistles, which can be used both to cry for help and to intimidate wildlife, but there are now also all sorts of gizmos capable of helping hikers make a digital distress call. A particularly good product is the (relatively) inexpensive Spot Satellite Messenger.

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