A man was in a shack near a desolate river in the Alaskan wilderness, alone for weeks.
According to The New York Times, a grizzly bear tormented him nightly as he sought help.
Then, by chance due to a detour, a coast guard crew spotted him waving for help.
A man living out of a shack in a remote camp in the Alaskan wilderness spent weeks alone and fending off a local bear until a coast guard pilot fortuitously spotted him waving for help.
According to The New York Times, the man was in his 50s or 60s and it was unclear how he ended up in the remote shack 40 miles outside of Nome, Alaska.
The man had carved messages like "SOS," and "help me," into the top of the shack where he was taking shelter, which was near a river drainage area. According to the Times, a grizzly bear visited the man nightly and even ripped off the door to the shack before he was saved.
According to the report, Coast Guard Commander Jared Carbajal and his crew of four were headed from Kotzebue to Nome to monitor the coastline for dead whales, seals, and walruses.
Insider reached out to the Coast Guard's Alaska office for additional details.
Due to cloudy visibility, Carbajal flew over a different river valley than intended, which is where they spotted the lost man.
"If we would have been in the next river valley over," Commander Carbajal told The Times, "we would have totally missed him."
Carbajal's co-pilot, Lieutenant A.J. Hammac, saw the man walk out of his shack and wave at the helicopters with both hands. The crew recognized that the wave meant that the man was in distress.
"At some point, a bear had dragged him down to the river," Carbajal told the Times. "He said that the bear kept coming back every night and he hadn't slept in a few days."
The man was transported to a hospital and once the helicopter landed, he reportedly insisted on walking to the ambulance.
"You could tell he was starting to come off of the adrenaline, I think, and started to realize what happened," Carbajal told the times. "He did not want to get in the gurney."
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