Lost hiker survived by drinking stream water | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Lost hiker survived by drinking stream water

William Ferchland

A 19-year-old hiker lost for five days was found at Dardanelles Lake with a broken wrist and suffering from dehydration.

Cory Bressi, a member of the California Conservation Corps, was hiking with a group on July 3 and got separated from his friends, who didn’t report him missing until July 4, authorities said.

From Sunday to Tuesday, El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies patrolled surrounding highways. Search and rescue teams looked for Bressi during the daylight hours. CalStar pilots looked from the air. Other agencies were notified and assisted.

The search was suspended Tuesday. Deputy Mike Sukau said there was information that Bressi was not missing.

Two days later, on July 8, backpacker Ron Weaver investigated what his Australian shepherd was barking at. He found Bressi three miles from the search area. Weaver said the teenager fell from a cliff, breaking his arm and his canteen. Weaver said Bressi ate nothing for five days and drank out of a stream. Bressi wore blue jeans and a shirt.

Due to his injuries, Bressi was flown by CalStar to Washoe Medical Center. He has since been released.

“It would have been nice to get him out quicker but it looks like he’s going to make a recovery,” Sukau said.

Bill Martinez, a conservationist with the California Conservation Corps, said the Corps was happy Bressi was found.

“Luckily he didn’t sustain any serious injuries. We wouldn’t have lost him if he was with us; at least I hope so,” Martinez said with a laugh.

Deputy Greg Almos said the search and rescue summer season is slower than last year, even though he has yet to compile numbers. In addition, more people needing help are lost rather than injured, he said.

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