Stranded Man Survives on Beer

Clifton Vial of Nome, Alaska, set out in his Toyota Tacoma to see where a road went, but ended up stuck in a snowdrift on a deserted road that doubles as a snowmobile track. He was 40 miles from town, out of cell phone range, without provisions or much in the way of emergency equipment. Vial wrapped himself in a sleeping bag liner and waited, turning on the car occasionally for warmth. After three days, he was almost out of gasoline. On the second day he didn't show up for work, his boss called emergency services.
The Nome Volunteer Fire Department was alerted and Vial's co-workers and volunteer rescuers drove surrounding roads in search of the Toyota.

One searcher drove 41 miles along Kougarok Road -- just a few miles from where Vial sat shivering and stranded in his pickup -- but saw no tracks. The searcher turned back as daylight disappeared and the road conditions worsened, Handeland said.

Troopers joined the search. Rescuers looked for Vial on the ground and from the air, in planes and from a helicopter.

"When we get called on situations like this, it's a needle in a haystack," said Jim West Jr., a Nome fire department captain and search and rescue coordinator.

For Vial, the cold was worse than the hunger, he said. Still he scoured the pickup in vain for food.

His only provisions: Snow, and a few cans of Coors Light that had frozen solid in the cab.

Vial ate the beers like cans of beans. "I cut the lids off and dug it out with a knife," he said.

Vial lost 16 pounds, but showed no signs of frostbite. Link -via Breakfast Links

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