A young woman who was lost in the Far Eastern wilderness for nearly a month has found her way out of the forest, a week after rescuers had given up on finding her, a news report said.
The 28-year-old woman, who was reported missing on June 13 — a day after she had gone into a forest to gather wild plants in the north of Sakhalin Island — re-emerged over the weekend just 3 kilometers away from where she had entered the woods, a spokesperson for the local emergency situations service said, Interfax reported Monday.
The woman told rescuers that she and her companions — one of whom is still missing — had nothing to eat while they were in the forest and survived by drinking water and covering themselves with tree branches for warmth at night, the spokesperson was quoted as saying.
Two men, aged 45 and 72, went into the forest along with woman, the report said. The 45-year-old man, who was spotted by a search helicopter on June 15, told rescuers that the trio had become lost and had an argument about which way to go, leading the younger man to head off in one direction, and the woman and her older companion to head off in another, the report said.
By late June, rescuers had apparently given up on finding the woman and her older companion, ending the "active phase" of their search, Interfax reported.
When the woman re-emerged from the forest on Saturday, she said that two days earlier her 72-year-old companion had felt too tired to walk, and she continued alone to search for a way out of the forest, the spokesperson told Interfax.
The woman refused hospitalization and accompanied rescuers back into the woods on Sunday to search for the older man, but was unable to locate the spot where she had left him, the report said.