Arizona man stranded in desert for days, drinks own urine to survive

Valley man stranded in the desert for days

PHOENIX - A Valley man, who was was stranded in the desert north of Lake Pleasant for two days and recorded parts of the ordeal on his cell phone, says he even drank his own urine at one point.

It all started when Mick Ohman drove up to the little mountain town of Crown King on Thursday, July 27. He decided to take the scenic route back to his home in Phoenix. But the road ended up being more of a rugged trail, filled with ravines and boulders and not meant for his two-wheel drive Honda CR-V.

"It was bouncing bad and all of a sudden my engine disengaged," Ohman told 12 News. "I couldn't go forward and couldn't be backward."

Ohman had destroyed his transmission. And he was stranded about 16 miles south of Crown King. He had no cell phone reception and a cooler filled with just one bottle of water, two beers, a sandwich and bagel chips -- all in triple-digit temperatures.

"It got to the point that I couldn't swallow and my throat would stick together. I would gag," Ohman said.

"I was forced to drink my own urine at this point, in order to swallow. It wasn't as obnoxious as I thought. It wasn't salty, and it quenched my thirst. But it was warm. Straight from the tap, I guess," he joked.

Despite all that, Ohman mustered the strength to make his version of an SOS. He put his spare tire on his SUV's windshield and created a big H out of rocks, hoping a helicopter or plane would fly over and see he needed help.

He also recorded a message on his phone for his sisters, Mitsy and Mindy.

"If you find this phone and I didn't do so well, please tell my sisters how much I love them," Ohman recorded.  

"That was very emotional for me," Ohman said, recounting the recording.  "And I was trying to keep my head about me the whole time, but when I heard myself starting to say that, I really choked up.  It was tough."

The next day, 24 hours after Ohman got stuck, he says he found a stream and water, which gave him energy. But it didn't get Ohman any closer to getting rescued. So Saturday morning, after spending two nights inside his CR-V, Ohman set out to find help and tried to hike his way to civilization. 

"My legs they were like were a ton," Ohman said. "Every step I took was painful. My calves were starting to cramp. I was literally running out of fuel."

Then Ohman heard the sound of a savior in Troy Haverland, who was trail-riding on his dirt bike.

"The feeling was like, oh, I can't believe this. I just went into prayer right away," Ohman said.  "I was half out of it.  my legs were bleeding. I was just a mess."

Now a week later, Ohman has healed up and sharing his survival story, thankful it didn't have a different ending.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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