72yo woman survives nine days in wilderness on pond water and plants

A woman survived for nine days on pond water and plants after getting lost in a forest, officials have said. Ann Rodgers, 72, had been travelling with her dog from Tucson, Arizona, to Phoenix on 31 March. She had been planning to visit her grandchildren but she got lost in the White Mountains and her hybrid vehicle ran out of petrol and electricity. After a few days, she had run out of the emergency food and water she kept in her car so resorted to desperate measures. As the days dragged on and no one came to help, “I just moved as fast as I could,” she said. "If I couldn’t do that, I crawled,“ she said. "If I couldn’t do that, I sat on my butt and crawled.”

All right, if this is the end — if this is it — at least I’m going to die in the most natural beautiful cathedral I have been in in a long time.

Ms Rodgers, on facing death

Ms Rodgers’s car was found three days after she became lost and her dog was found on 9 April. But rescue crews struggled to find her until a flight crew spotted a “help” signal made of sticks and rocks on the ground. She was found nearby on the Fort Apache Reservation. Ms Rodgers said that after she got on the rescue helicopter, she had sat down and cried. A spokesman for the Department of Public Safety said it was unclear how Ms Rodgers had become lost in the eastern part of the state - the drive from Tucson to Phoenix is straight along Interstate 10, which does not run through the part of the state where she was eventually found.

If it was a different season, she would not have lived. Arizona can be a brutal state to stay alive in because we have mountains and deserts and everything in between.

Cody Lundin, a professional survival instructor