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Miraculous Rescue: Lost Hiker Survives a Broken Hip, Snow, and 95-mph Winds

After two days of searching, rescuers finally found a lost hiker who’d gone missing amid 95-mph winds in the Skye Region of Northern Scotland.

The hiker, Dr. John Pike, was reported missing on Thursday. Authorities found his car parked at his hotel on Friday morning, but he was nowhere to be found. Rescuers began to assemble, but they knew locating Pike would be no easy task: Storm Otto, the first named storm of the year, had just moved into the area. 

Strong winds, heavy rainfall, and snow buffeted northern Scotland. In town, the conditions disrupted travel and damaged buildings. There was no telling what it would do to a hiker out alone in the highlands.

Dr. Pike, meanwhile, had fallen on the slick ground and broken his hip shortly after starting his hike on Thursday. By that night, he’d found himself trapped with no cell service, no tent, and no supplies. Temperatures soon dropped below freezing. He had only planned for a short day trip, so he had to make do without the essentials that he might have otherwise relied on to save his life. 

Image by Charles Lateu-Smith/Getty

“Where he was there was no real cover,” Neil Urquhart, head of the Skye Mountain Rescue Team (MRT), told the Scottish Daily Express. “It is very exposed, and he has survived both a major storm and very cold night.”

Despite the bleak conditions, Dr. Pike was found “cold but alert” around 10:30 AM on Saturday. MRT rescuers, most of whom were volunteers, described “huge relief” upon finding him near Loch Coruisk. Dr. Pike was quickly airlifted to receive medical treatment.

“We would like to wish Dr Pike a speedy recovery and thank everyone involved in the search and rescue,” MRT wrote on its Facebook page.

 Though Dr. Pike’s rescue ultimately ended on a positive note, it’s a good reminder that it’s important to be prepared for any eventuality outdoors. Always carry a suitable emergency shelter, a communication device and other essential safety gear—even on short, spontaneous trips.

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