HikersurvivesWorld News

Alps hiker survives seven icy nights after fall in Italy

image copyrightCNSAS

image captionRescuers airlifted the man after spotting his foil blanket

A man who went hiking with his dog in the Italian Alps has survived seven nights in the open, stranded after falling and breaking his ankle.

Rescuers in a helicopter spotted the man lying near a stream on Thursday in mountains north of Udine, north-eastern Italy. He was covered in leaves, but they had seen his foil blanket nearby.

The man, 33, was hungry and thirsty but said his dog “helped me to survive”.

He was found at a height of nearly 700m (2,300ft).

The man, from the north-eastern city of Trieste, was in a part of the Venzonassa Valley unreachable by mobile phone. He had dragged himself to a stream, so had managed to drink some water. He was found conscious but badly bruised.

His girlfriend had alerted the Friuli mountain and cave rescue service (CNSAS) on Wednesday, as she had been expecting him to return on Monday. He had gone on such hikes in previous years, staying in mountain huts or makeshift shelters.

image copyrightcnsas

image captionA rescuer stroking Ash, the injured man’s dog

His mixed-breed dog Ash stayed with him and kept him company, which helped him survive, he says.

Ash is being looked after now by the rescuers, while the man recovers in hospital from his ordeal.

The drama was reported on Facebook by the Friuli rescue service.

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