An Oregon woman who disappeared a week ago has been rescued after surviving at the bottom of a Californian coastal cliff by drinking water using a radiator hose from her vehicle to siphon from a nearby stream, reports the Guardian.
Angela Hernandez, 23, of Portland was found by a pair of hikers on Friday evening after they discovered her wrecked Jeep Patriot SUV partially submerged at the bottom of a 200-foot (61m) cliff in the Big Sur area, a spokesman for Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, John Thornburg, said.
After not hearing from her for days, her family grew increasingly concerned. A $10,000 reward was offered for information leading to her whereabouts. Family members traveled to the area and police began searching on the ground and from the air. Her disappearance had attracted widespread public attention after she and her vehicle were last seen on a surveillance camera video at a Carmel gas station on 6 July, about 50 miles north of the stretch of Highway 1 where she was found.
A couple who were camping nearby discovered Hernandez conscious, breathing and with a shoulder injury, Thornburg said. She had, it was reported, been able to get out of her damaged vehicle but could not climb back up the cliff to the main road. It was not clear whether she had any food with her.
Rescuers managed to hoist her up the cliff where she was transferred to a helicopter which flew her to a nearby hospital. She was reported to be in fair and stable condition but appeared to have suffered a concussion during the collision, the police said in a statement.
Hernandez told investigators she had swerved to avoid hitting an animal on the highway and plunged over the cliff north of Nacimiento-Fergusson Road.
“It’s usually the fall that gets them or the ocean that gets them, and she was lucky to survive both,” said Thornburg.
Hernandez was on a road trip from her home in Portland to visit her sister Isabel in Lancaster, Los Angeles County when she crashed.