Sunday, December 4, 2011

Man stranded in snow for three days survives on frozen Coors Light

A man was stranded in snow for three days at temperatures of minus 17 has survived by eating frozen Coors Light beer.

Clifton Vial, 52, became stranded outside Nome, Alaska after driving into a snow drift.
At first, he tried to climb out but realized he was buried too deep. He realized that he needed to think about survival.
More than 40 miles out of town, at about 9:30 that night, Vial's pickup plunged into a snowdrift.

"I made an attempt at digging myself out and realized how badly I was stuck," said Vial. He was wearing tennis shoes, jeans and a $30 jacket from Sears. "I would have been frostbit before I ever got the thing out of there."

Vial was alone near Salmon Lake, on a road that doubles as a snowmachine trail in the winter.

Unprepared, he was only wearing jeans and a thin coat, and that wasn't enough protection if he tried to dig himself out of the snow without getting frostbite.

There was no signal on his cellphone, so he realized he would have to wait for his someone to realise he was missing.
He kept himself warm in a fleece sleeping bag and by wrapping a bath towel around his feet, and occasionally he started the truck to run the heater and listen to the radio.
He stuffed rags in his clothes and unraveled tissue paper, pushing it down around his feet.
While searching the truck, he found three cans of frozen Coors Light.

‘I felt really pissed at myself. I shouldn't have been out there by myself unprepared for what I knew was possible.’
He said the cold was more unbearable than the hunger.

Temperatures reached minus 17 degrees and feared he would not wake up if he went to sleep
‘When I was just sitting there in my coat in the sleeping bag liner I would pull my arms inside my T-shirt to try and utilize my body heat as much as I could,’ Vial said. ‘That worked fine for some time, as far as keeping my torso warm and my arms. But my legs and feet where getting pretty cold.’
Vial’s wife and daughter were out of town and he thought he would never see them again.
‘I tried to sleep when I could,’ Vial said, ‘but I knew that I might not wake up.’
When Vial failed to turn up for work the next day, co-workers patrolled the area – and alerted the police when he failed to show up for a second shift.
'I cut the lids off the beer cans and dug it out with a knife' Clifton Vial said.

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

Three days after he first became stranded in the snow, rescuers pulled up behind his pick-up.
They gave him a Snickers bar and an orange soda.
He planned to visit a doctor Friday afternoon, then return to work. He showed no signs of frostbite.