Missing Texas hiker calls rescue in Arkansas a miracle
MENA, Ark. — A Texas man who was found after he went missing for about a week while hiking alone in a remote area of Arkansas said his rescue was the result of “hundreds of miracles.”
Joshua McClatchy told WFAA-TV in Dallas on Saturday he wouldn’t be alive without the efforts of search and rescue teams that looked for him after he was reported missing June 1. He also thanked his faith.
“It’s not just one miracle, it’s hundreds of miracles,” McClatchy said of his rescue on Friday.
McClatchy, from Fort Worth, said he’s not ready to talk about what he went through but described the first sips of water he took after being rescued as “so refreshing.”
“Finally, I want to thank anyone who has ushered kind thoughts, love and prayers from around the world. It is overwhelming and it means so much to me,” McClatchy said.
The 38-year-old McClatchy got lost while hiking in the Caney Creek Wilderness near Mena, Arkansas. The wilderness area is about 105 miles (170 kilometers) southwest of Little Rock.
McClatchy had texted his mother after he got lost and asked her to send help.
Polk County Judge Brandon Ellison told ABC News McClatchy was found Friday with the help of a National Guard helicopter equipped with infrared technology.
“Without the helicopter, I’m not sure we’d have found him,” Ellison said.
A rescue crew had to rope down dangerous terrain, which included thick treetops and steep mountains, to get to McClatchy, Sawyer said.
It took about four hours for the rescue teams to carry him out on a one-wheeled rescue cart, officials said.
Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer said McClatchy was severely dehydrated but otherwise in good shape when he was found.
McClatchy was taken to a hospital for evaluation. His condition on Sunday was not immediately known.