Hiker missing for a week rescued in operation lasting for several hours

A Texas man who went missing last weekend while hiking alone in a remote area of Arkansas has been found.

Joshua McClatchy, a 38-year-old from Fort Worth, was dehydrated but in good spirits when he was found late on Friday and has been taken to hospital to be examined, Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer said.

Mr Sawyer said improved weather conditions allowed rescuers to use a National Guard helicopter equipped with infrared technology to search the Caney Creek Wilderness area about 105 miles southwest of Little Rock.

The helicopter crew spotted Mr McClatchy and it took rescuers on the ground an hour to reach him and several more hours to carry him out.

Mr McClatchy had texted his mother on 1 June to say he was lost and needed help.

His ecstatic sister Miranda Balduf, who had been providing updates on the search for Mr McClatchy, said on Facebook “‘We have him.’ These are the most beautiful words I’ve ever heard spoken.

“Thank you Sheriff Scott Sawyer. I wish I could name every single one of the men and women that were involved in the search for the past 7 days.

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“This terrain is unforgiving, and you all were RELENTLESS in your efforts. It should be noted that the rescuers that went in once Josh was spotted, put in 21 Miles today, give or take a couple for some.

“This land is anything but flat. It was spectacular seeing headlamps approach from the dark distance, and then seeing Josh’s face as the strongest men and women carried him out.

“Thank you to everyone of you that liked, shared, prayed, donated, sent encouraging messages, provided tips and resources, etc. People give up without hope. You all helped us have hope. Thank you.”

“Josh is doing beautifully. He just closed his eyes, and will FINALLY rest.”

Source: SKY NEWS

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