Three Missing Hikers Found in Kings Canyon National Park

October 15, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
After three days of searching, a helicopter spotted the three men just a half mile away from Cedar Grove, the spot they left last week for a backpack trip.                  |   Watch Video Above for Extended Coverage   |

25-year-old Jordan Zeman, his 23-year old brother Jake and their friend, 25-year old Lanier Rogers were reunited with their families.

The three hikers arrived at Kings Canyon National Park on October seventh. They were supposed to return home to the Los Angeles area the following Monday.

Although they had a GPS device to guide them, the three got stuck near one of the park's rivers when it started to rain. That's when family members reported them missing.

"We couldn't cross the river that night because like I said, we couldn't do it. And when it rained, it raised the river by like 4 or 5, 6 7 feet," said Jordan Zeman.

The three hikers survived by sleeping side by side under one tent and rationing what little food they had left.

Jordan Zeman said, "We had about 2 fiber one bars and a freeze dried meals to last us however long. So, the past three days, we split those bars three times."

Eventually, they lit a fire to signal rescuers. A helicopter spotted them Thursday morning, and with their families waiting anxiously nearby, crews rescued them a couple of hours later.

Wayne Zeman said, "Seeing that helicopter land, knowing over the radio it was them gave a description of who they were, where they were, it was emotional."

After spending nearly a week in the wilderness, these avid hikers say they will continue to do what they love, always remembering the adventure that could have been their last.

All three hikers say they are hungry and weak, but fortunately there are no injuries to report. They will spend the night in Three Rivers and head back to LA sometime Friday.




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