Diabetic (76) survives for 10 days lost in the desert

Michelle Rindels

A 76-year-old diabetic man survived 10 days in the remote Nevada desert by melting snow and using skills he learned as a Boy Scout, but a friend who was with him and ventured away to get help died.

James Klemovich and Laszlo Szabo (75) went to scope out some mines in the state when their car became stuck on a lonely road with no mobile phone service.

The men tried unsuccessfully to dislodge the car, and lit flares and started fires in hopes somebody would see them in northwestern Nevada's Pershing County, where fewer than 7,000 people are spread over 6,000 sq miles (15,540 sq km).

They used a towel in the car to strain ditch water and snow into water bottles, but, after four or five days, Mr Szabo left to get help. Mr Klemovich's wife Joanne began to worry when several days passed without a phone call from her husband.


Authorities called on Tuesday night to say her husband had been found by military personnel who were holding training exercises in the area.

Mr Klemovich, of Littleton, Colorado, has diabetes, wears a pacemaker and had a triple bypass heart surgery.

He told his wife he wasn't panicking while he sat for days waiting for Szabo's return. He kept a journal, noting how much water he drank and what he did each day. And he wrote a letter each day for her.

After his rescue, he was treated and released from hospital.

Szabo, of Lovelock, Nevada, was found dead about a mile and a half away. A post mortem is being performed.