10-Year-Old Missing for 28 Hours Is Found Alive Thanks to Dad’s Survival Skills

Thank God! A missing 10-year-old has been found alive and in good health, despite enduring near-freezing temperatures over the course of 28 hours. Authorities said that Malachi Bradley was cold and hungry, but otherwise in tip-top shape, and it was likely because his dad, an avid hiker and camper, had taught him what to do if he should ever become lost.

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Malachi was hiking to Paul Lake in eastern Utah on Sunday morning with his dad, brother, sister, and a family friend. He ventured off the path though, and was unable to find his way back. Upon his rescue, he said, "I was trying to collect mushrooms and I didn't find any by the lake, it was stupid."

When his dad couldn't find him after 30 minutes, he reportedly hiked back down to the car, and drove to area with cellphone reception in order to call 911. The search began Sunday, and after breaking for the night, it resumed Monday morning. They miraculously found him.

Uintah County Sheriff Vance Norton said, "He's actually in great shape ... We're just happy we got him when we did."

The temperature dipped into the 30s overnight, and was only expected to get colder. Malachi escaped hypothermia by wrapping his T-shirt around his legs, huddling in his jacket, and curling up between some rocks.

His dad explained that he had discussed with his son what he should do if he got lost. I bet he was glad he did! He was found by a rescue plane, and picked up by a police helicopter.

His mom Molly said that she was proud of him, and "I don't think I've ever felt something so intensely in my whole life." She continued, "I'm proud of my boy, proud of the team, proud of the fact that I'm not going to have a tragedy."

It's so easy for even experienced hikers to get lost in the woods. It's important that we all talk to our kids about wandering off in the wilderness, and be sure to keep a buddy system. Maybe even bring walkie-talkies if there's no cell range.

Thankfully this story didn't end in tragedy -- let's try to prevent as many as possible.

 

Image via © Marc Romanelli/Blend Images/Corbis

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