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Rookie rescuers find lost hikers

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 2/24/20, 11:30 am

Ian Irwin, 72, and Carol Kiparsky, 77, had been lost for nine days when an 18-year-old volunteer and a K-9 team on its first mission found them alive. Quincy Webster, the golden retriever Groot, and Groot’s handler, Rich Cassens, found the couple from Palo Alto, Calif., on Saturday in a densely wooded area far from the rental cottage where they had been last seen.

What happened? Irwin, a noted Parkinson’s disease researcher, and his wife, a linguist and author, left their cabin at Tomales Bay State Park near Inverness, Calif., on Valentine’s Day for a quick walk to watch the sunset, The Mercury News in San Jose, Calif., reported. Though avid hikers, they strayed from the trail and got lost once the sun went down. After nine days of searching, rescuers assumed they had already died. But as Webster, Cassens, and Groot tramped through the brush on Saturday, they heard a feeble “hello” that led them to the couple. They are recovering at Marin General Hospital.

Dig deeper: Read this vivid account from The Mercury News of the dramatic rescue.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. Follow Rachel on Twitter @Rachel_Lynn_A.

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