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Woman rescued after surviving in a forest for six days on yogurt and snow

A woman stranded for six days in a broken-down car in a remote northern California forest survived by rationing yogurt and eating snow, authorities said.

The ordeal of 52 years old Sheena Gullett was detailed in a Facebook post by the Lassen county sheriff’s office. Gullett and friend Justin Lonich, 48, were driving to Little Valley, a small incorporated community, on dirt roads off Highway 44 on 14 April when their vehicle became stuck in snow. They spent the night in the vehicle and in the morning its battery was dead.

The sheriff’s office said the two tried to walk to the highway but Gullett fell behind because the soles of her boots came off. Lonich couldn’t find her in heavy snowfall, so he sought shelter and built a campfire.

The next day he found a gravel road but again had to shelter overnight. On 17 April, Lonich reached the highway and hitched a ride to the town of Susanville, where he reported that Gullett was stranded.

A search was conducted by ground, and also by air when the weather was clear. Gullett said she saw a helicopter fly overhead days before she was rescued, but that it missed her because of the thick forest, according to authorities.

A sheriff’s sergeant found the vehicle on 20 April and Gullett emerged. The sheriff’s office said she was very emotional but physically OK after rationing a six-pack of yogurt over six days and eating snow.

“She related the same details as Justin did as to how they became separated. During the six days Sheena was stranded, she rationed a six-pack of yogurt, eating one per day,” said Lt Dave Woginrich, of the Lassen county sheriff’s office, in a Facebook post that thanked the search and rescue team. “Through their efforts, Sheena was found safe and is now back home.”

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