Search and rescue officials were able to locate two lost hikers in the Inverness area in Marin County on Saturday, ending a weeklong scramble to help save their lives.
Palo Alto couple Carol Kiparsky, 77, and Ian Irwin, 72, left their rental home in Inverness on Valentine’s Day to go for a hike and watch the sunset, but when they took a wrong turn and the sun went down, they were officially lost in the dense wilderness. When they failed to check out of their rental home and missed a February 16th appointment, the search was on. The couple had left their phones and wallets in the rental home and didn’t bring food or water.
A large search and rescue contingency, including a total of 400 Sheriff’s officials and volunteers, began the search using drones, dive teams and boats equipped with radar and sonar. On Thursday, after exhausting all of their leads, officials shifted the search to a “recovery mission,” fearing the worst outcome for the hiking couple.
Then on Saturday, rescuers heard yelling near Shell Beach and was able to locate the couple in dense brush. Due to the thickness of the brush, the hikers were airlifted to saftey:
Neither of the hikers had a jacket and survived by drinking from puddles for an entire week.
“On behalf of Carol Kiparsky and Ian Irwin, we wanted to provide everyone with an update. Carol and Ian are in amazing spirits and have expressed their gratitude to everyone for the well wishes during their recovery,” the couple’s family said in a statement. “They are still hospitalized and being monitored due to the extensive abrasions from the dense brush. They have an excellent group of professionals monitoring them at a local hospital.”
Northern California’s Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine