Missing hiker found in Santa Cruz Mountains

December 5, 2010 12:43:31 PM PST
A woman missing for six days in the Santa Cruz Mountains was in the hospital Sunday morning after being rescued from her ordeal.

Her family and friends had feared the worst. 58-year-old Debra Collins was found along an unmarked trail in Fall Creek State Park which is located off Highway 9 near Ben Lomand and Felton. She was carried out of the rugged mountains Saturday, hungry and suffering from hypothermia.

Collins got lost while hiking alone, last week. She did not have any food, but told rescuers she survived by drinking water from a creek. The Santa Cruz Sheriff's Department said a full-scale search was not feasible, so Collin's neighbor went looking for her and found her huddled under a downed tree.

"She had a little plastic bag in her pocket and she said she would use that to drink water, but no, it sounded like she didn't eat anything during that whole time," said rescuer Joachim "Joe" DeGuara.

A friend of Collins says she injured her ankle while running along a path and tumbled into a ravine. She was unable to get out and ended up taking shelter until she was found.