Missing Dutch Hiker Found Alive After 18 Days in a Ravine

Posted Jul 7th 2011 10:00 AM


A Dutch hiker was found alive in Spain Wednesday after spending 18 days trapped at the bottom of a ravine.

Mary Anne Goossens, 48, arrived in Malaga on June 15 for a ten-day vacation then went missing after heading out for a hike near the town of Nerja, reports Fox News. She survived by drinking water from the Chillar River.

She was discovered Wednesday by three hikers who were traveling along the river. They tossed food and clothing to Goossens before alerting mountain rescue. She was airlifted to a nearby hospital.

Amazingly, despite her weakened condition, she was able to walk from the helicopter to the hospital's emergency room.

According to The Telegraph, Goossens said she became lost in the mountains after straying from the hiking path.

It seems that she got lost after spending a day hiking...It got dark very quickly and she kept walking and walking hoping to find a village," Niek Jochemus, a family friend told the paper. "She spent a couple of days walking and then became so weak she couldn't walk anymore and decided it was best to stay near water and hope that someone would find her soon."

Goossens herself told paramedics that she fell into the ravine on the night of June 17 and managed to squeeze herself into a position where she wouldn't be in constant contact with the water, reports Fox.

Thankfully Goossens survived her ordeal with minor injuries. But, her case highlights the need for hikers to follow certain safety precautions.

One misstep Goossens made was to continue hiking after she was lost. The American Hiking Society recommends that those who find themselves lost stop hiking, then try to backtrack if possible. It should go without saying that they also recommend staying on the path in the first place.

Many hikers choose to carry whistles, which can be used both to cry for help and to intimidate wildlife, but there are now also all sorts of gizmos capable of helping hikers make a digital distress call. A particularly good product is the (relatively) inexpensive Spot Satellite Messenger.

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Obey the golden rule! Always leave a note with someone stating where you are going and when you should be back. There is also a free website at www.trailnote.com for just such a thing!

July 08 2011 at 6:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David Lottmann

It's sad that when lost hikers are rescued the media never mentions the three most important things to take on a hike. Map, Compass, and a brain that knows how to use them. Relying on technology like the SPOT Satelitte Messenger and Cell Phones just leads to more rescues as people push their limits knowing rescue is a button press away (but often arrives to late). - Mountain Rescue Service Member

July 08 2011 at 11:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So easy for us to judge her when what happened to her did not happen to us. It is easy to get turned around in the wilderness and lose direction. That could happen to anyone. Once lost, she had to choose between spending the night in the wild or trying to find a village. She chose to try for a village. Many people would have made the same decision. Once in the ravine, she kept her head and held strong for 18 days without food or proper shelter. How many of you critics have ever done that?

July 08 2011 at 10:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

she is a very lucky women

July 08 2011 at 8:00 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Another intelligent well prepared hiker.

July 08 2011 at 7:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's hard to have any sympathy for an ill prepared , amateur hiker who chooses to leave the trail and hike in darkness. I hope she learned a lesson so as to avoid placing others in danger while looking for her.

July 07 2011 at 7:56 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

How dumb can you get? Typical Dutch stubborness.

July 07 2011 at 7:52 PM Report abuse -8 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to h.zoutendijk's comment
Jean-Paul J

Maybe you could comment constructively instead of resorting to ethnic stereotypes.

July 10 2011 at 7:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How dumb can you get! Typical stubborn Dutch mentality. They know it all!

July 07 2011 at 7:51 PM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply

WOW In this day of cell phones it is odd that she did not have one especially hiking in a remote area.

July 07 2011 at 7:15 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to aboard's comment
dc walker

Many times in the mountains you can't get a signal.

July 07 2011 at 7:28 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

i think she's very lucky and very strong. its good that she survived but next time she should tell someone that she's going hiking and where. very happy she was found!!

July 07 2011 at 6:47 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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