Feb. 23 (UPI) — A couple who disappeared more than a week ago while on vacation at a cottage in California were found alive, authorities said on Sunday.
The Marin County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Twitter that Carol Kiparsky, 77, and Ian Irwin were recovering after being transported to a local hospital by helicopter.
“They are in great spirits and want to thank every single person who has kept them in their thoughts,” the sheriff’s office said.
Schneider said two searchers spotted the Kiparsky and Irwin trapped in a drainage ditch overgrown with foliage when the couple began yelling for help.
They were found about a half-mile from a road wearing only light clothing despite frigid temperatures in the area. Kiparsky had no shoes and was without a scarf as she ripped off bits of fabric to serve as a marker when she left Irwin to look for help.
Sheriff’s office spokesman Brenton Schneider said the couple experienced light hypothermia but “are doing OK” overall.
Authorities said the couple had gone out for a hike on Feb. 14 and got lost after they were last seen at a rental home in northern California.
Officials had said Friday that they deemed the efforts a “recovery mission,” saying they believed their search efforts would have found them if they were responsive or reachable by foot.