FRANCONIA, NH (CBS) – Two hikers are lucky they didn’t have to spend the night stranded in the White Mountains. After they got lost on Saturday evening, they were rescued by accident.
In pictures, Analia Oliva was all smiles at the 4,700 foot peak of Little Haystack Mountain. But that smile turned to panic when she and her boyfriend took a wrong turn and wound up lost as the sun was setting.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports
“It was getting really dark and I couldn’t see where I was going and there were boulders and rocks and I was stumbling and hitting my toes, falling and I was like OK I don’t think we’re going to make it out of here tonight,” Oliva recalls.
They were running low on water. Their only light was Analia’s cell phone and it was almost dead. That’s when she spotted a headlight. It turns out New Hampshire Fish and Game rescuers were on the mountain to save another lost hiker.
“We just happened to come each other’s way,” says Oliva. “We just got really, really lucky.”
Captain John Wimsatt says if not for that coincidence, the hikers would have spent the night on the mountain without the right supplies. Unprepared hikers are forcing more rescues and straining the department’s resources.
Wimsatt says accidents happen in the White Mountains and conservation officers are glad to help, but too often they are running into people who are careless.
“It is very frustrating when after repeated attempts to educate the public about safety precautions we’re still experiencing so many folks that are taking virtually no precautions at all,” Wimsatt says.
Analia says she’s learned her lesson and wants others to learn too.
“Next time we know what to bring and how to prepare. Get there early, bring extra clothes, extra food, extra, extra water and a headlight and we’ll be fine,” she said.