Rescued Hiker: 'You'd Have Been Dead' Anywhere But R.M.N.P.

Estes Park (AP) A Texas man found alive in Rocky Mountain national park after three nights alone in the backcountry
says he's just "incredibly grateful, and thankful and blessed." Forty–five–year–old Hillel Ben–avi Spoke to reporters Thursday morning in Estes Park, less than 24 hours after a search team spotted him from a plane.

Ben–avi disappeared Sunday while hiking ahead of his brother in the park's Mummy Range area. He was last seen about 1:30 that afternoon at the top of Fairchild Mountain, but when his brother reached the summit, Ben–avi wasn't there.

The Austin, Texas, radiologist says he's glad all of the
searchers and resources were available, because, "I can tell you if you were living in a different place, you'd have been dead."

His brother says Ben–avi was tired and hungry when he was
rescued, but was otherwise O.K. and was admitted to an Estes Park hospital for observation overnight.

Ben–avi had come across a fishing pole during his trek, tied a white shirt to the pole, and waved it around. Searchers were able to see that shirt from the air Wednesday afternoon.

Copyright 2005 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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