Lost In Andes: Uruguay Man Survives 4 Months In Harsh South American Wilderness, Lives Off Raisins And Rats
A man lost in the Andes for four months was found alive on Sunday. Argentine officials from the northwestern province of San Juan discovered 58-year-old Raul Fernando Gomez Circunegui, who was reported missing in May, shacked up in a shelter 9,100 feet above sea level.
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According to Mirror, Gomez was dehydrated and malnourished when officials stumbled upon him while recording snow levels in the area. The 58-year-old lost 44 pounds during his grueling four month stay in the Andes' wilderness. After rescuers retrieved Gomez, who was lost in the Andes during the harsh winter, they transported him to a hospital in San Juan.
"The truth is that this is a miracle. We still can't believe it," San Juan Governor Jose Luis Gioja told the local Diario de Cuyo newspaper. "We let him talk to his wife, his mother and his daughter. ... I asked him: 'Are you a believer?' He told me, 'no, but now I am.'"
According to the doctor who treated Gomez, the man lost in the Andes is "going to be fine." He told reporters that Gomez had high blood pressure, was a smoker and was undernourished, but that the hospital would be releasing him shortly.
Reuters reports that Gomez was traveling from Chile to Argentina on motorcycle when his bike broke down. He decided to make the rest of the trip on foot, but a ruthless snowstorm disoriented him and caused him to lose his way.
How did the 58-year-old Uruguayan, lost in the Andes for four months, survive in the harsh mountain wilderness?
According to AP, Gomez survived on sugar and raisins he had brought with him, as well as rats he trapped himself. The mountain shelter he came across also had some supplies he could use.
Surviving four months in the Andes during the dead of winter is no easy feat. According to Live Science, a person can survive in a harsh environment for about three hours without shelter. Humans can go only three days without water, and up to three weeks without food.
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