COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Two hikers were rescued Friday morning after being stranded in the Everglades for a week.
Around 8:30 a.m., the Collier County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call in reference to hikers lost at Big Cypress National Preserve. The agency flew in a helicopter to locate Ryan Crowder and Tom Reiker, then directed a helicopter from Miami to hoist them to safety.
According to NBC 2, the lifelong friends were planning on hiking the entire 1,300-mile scenic trail and documenting their journey on YouTube, but they lost their map in Collier County.
“We were only supposed to be out there for a few days, and it kind of didn’t go as we planned,” Reiker said.
They ended up spending seven days in the preserve in waist-deep water.
“There are alligators and water moccasins everywhere,” said one of the men.
For a week, the men survived solely on beef jerky, Ramen noodles and boiled swamp water. They said they don’t think they would’ve survived if they hadn’t called 911.
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