Wednesday 22 January 2020

Man survives being stranded in snow by eating frozen beer

AN Alaskan man who drove into a snow drift 40 miles from home, survived for three days by eating frozen beer.

Clifton Vial, 52, an operator mechanic, was caught in the drift 40 miles outside Nome, Alaska, USA after driving his pickup truck from home to explore how far north a road would take him.

He was unable to dig out of his vehicle and had no mobile phone reception, so wearing nothing but tennis shoes, jeans and a £20 jacket, he climbed into his sleeping bag and wrapped a towel round his feet.

"I made an attempt at digging myself out and realised how badly I was stuck," he told the Anchorage Daily News. "I would have been frostbit before I ever got the thing out of there."

Mr Vial's family was away and he realised no one would know he was missing for another day when he failed to show up for work.

Without food, and with temperatures dropping to -17C, he found a few cans of Coors Light beer in his truck that had frozen solid, and ate them like tinned food.

"I cut the lids off and dug it out with a knife," he said.

During the 60 hour ordeal, he said he lost 16lb, and began to hallucinate.

On Tuesday, his employer, Nome Joint Utility System, raised the alarm.

"He's a very punctual employee," said John Handeland, general manager. "By 4 o'clock we figured something was wrong,"

The Fire Department, co-workers and volunteers were mobilised to search the surrounding areas, before they found him. He was due to visit a doctor at the end of last week.

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