Two young sisters who survived for 44 hours in the wilderness of Northern California before they were found alive on Sunday did so by using basic survival skills they learned at their local 4-H club. Carolina Carrico, 5 and Leia Carrico, 8, were found uninjured and “in good spirits” by 2 firefighters 1.4 miles south of their home in Benbow, located about 70 miles south of Eureka in the northwest part of the state, reports Fox News.
“This is an absolute miracle,” a spokeman said. “This is rugged territory, this is an extreme environment. How they were out there for 44 hours is pretty amazing.”
The two young sisters went missing Friday from their home in Benbow, a small community about 200 miles northwest of Sacramento. The girl’s mom Misty said they had asked her to take them on a hike Friday afternoon.
“I told them not at this time,” as she was preoccupied with taking care of their little brother. “And I loaded a couple of bags and I turned around and both my girls were gone.”
Misty said initially she wasn’t worried because the girls often took short little walks in the woods, but when it got dark and they were not back she sounded the alarm.
The girls’ disappearance launched a massive search involving more than 250 personnel from across the state. Rescuers were able to follow their boot prints and granola wrappers. Leia and Caroline were found cold and dehydrated but in good spirits.
“The girls were located huddled together under a bush,” the sheriff’s office said. “The sisters were evaluated by medical personnel for dehydration and given water and warm, dry clothing.”
The girls explained that after talking with their mom they went for walk down a deer trail they used before, but they went past a marker that their parents told them not to pass, and when they tried to retrace their steps they took a wrong turn and got lost. They reckon they walked 2-3 miles in the wrong direction, but the girl’s mom believes it was probably closer to 6. They survived on granola bars and by drinking water from huckleberry leaves.
Survival expert Shane Hobel told MSN every child should be taught the basics of what to do if they get lost in the woods.
“One of the best ways to navigate brier and bramble and any of these thorns is when in doubt, you can step on the plant and it just mashes it down. Don’t forget there are game paths and trails out there,” he told Inside Edition.