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Man Rescued After Surviving Three Weeks In Alaskan Wilderness

Man Rescued After Surviving Three Weeks In Alaskan Wilderness

Freezing temperatures can be enough to make most of us contemplate never leaving the house again, so spare a thought for a man forced to survive for 22 days in the snowy wilderness after his log cabin burnt down.

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Dramatic footage has been released showing the moment Tyson Steele, from Utah, USA, was rescued by helicopter by Alaska State Troopers.

The 30-year-old wrote 'SOS' in large letters in the snow, enabling him to be spotted from overhead - as he had been stranded in an area that was not accessible by road.

The video, released by Alaska State Troopers on its Facebook page, shows Steele frantically waving his arms in the air as the chopper descends on an area around 20 miles outside of Skwentna.

After his log cabin burnt down in a freak accident caused by a spark from his wood fire stove, Steele said he built a snow cave, which he slept in for the first two nights after the fire.

According to the Daily Mail, he said: "Snow caves are pretty nice for survival. There's a lot of insulation.

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"It can be negative 40 outside and if you have a candle - which I didn't - but if you do, it can be above 30 degrees. I just huddled into that dark cave and I slept. I slept for a really long time. And it was, it was warm. Warmer than outside."

Steele then attempted to trail towards a nearby lake, hoping it would be easier for emergency services to find him. He was surviving on limited foods he had salvaged during the fire, including pineapple - despite being allergic to the fruit.

"It took me days just to go a quarter mile," he said.

Discussing his survival in an interview with TV channel KTLA, Steele has told of the heartbreaking moment when he realised his six-year-old chocolate labrador was caught inside the burning log cabin.

He said: "His name was Phil. Best dog in the world.

"He was so scared of the fire and in my thinking I've gotta grab Phil and I've gotta grab some stuff to sleep in so I basically ... I grabbed everything that was on my bed.

"I just grabbed some coats, some sleeping bags - whatever - just a bag of something and whatever and wrapped it up in the blanket and I rush outside, and I tell Phil, "Get out of here! Get out of here!"

In the confusion however, Phil was actually trapped inside with no hope of escape as Steele's rifles and ammunition began to explode as the cabin continued to burn.

Labrador Phil tragically died in the fire. Credit: Facebook/Tyson Steele
Labrador Phil tragically died in the fire. Credit: Facebook/Tyson Steele

Steele continued to try and survive in the freezing snow in Alaska by writing 'SOS' in big letters in the hopes of being spotted by emergency services. He then built another shelter using scrap lumber and scavenged tarps to build a tent-like domed structure.

He said: "It's by no means a cosy cabin that I was able to put together. It just took the edge off. I could still see my breath, but at least I wasn't suffering."

Steele was eventually rescued by Alaska State Troopers after friends and family grew worried they hadn't heard from him, and asked authorities to do a welfare check.

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Alaska State Troopers

Topics: America, News, US News

Niamh Spence

Niamh Spence is a freelance writer, covering lifestyle topics. She graduated from Liverpool John Moores University in Journalism in 2012 and has switched between PR and journalism ever since. Usually found with coffee and on twitter.

 

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