Environment, News

BC Woman Survived In Wilderness For Seven Weeks

Rita and Albert ChretienA woman from British Columbia, who was lost for nearly 50 days, has been found alive. Rita Chretien left Penticton, B.C. with her husband, Albert. They were going to a trade show in Las Vegas when they decided to go off-road to see some landscape. They got turned around and their van became stuck in mud on a remote road in northeastern Nevada.

The couple waited for three days before Albert set out for help.

Meanwhile, Rita survived eating a small amount of trail mix and other food the couple had in the van. When that ran out, she stayed alive by eating melted snow.

She was alone for 50 days – from March 19 until last week. Searchers had been looking for the couple, but had given up in April.

Finally, Rita was discovered by three people who were out hunting elk antlers. They saw a van deep in a ditch. It had blankets draped to the windows and notes stuck to the windshield, one of which said, “Stuck.”

Rita had lost nearly 14 kg (30 pounds) during her ordeal. When she tried to eat some food her rescuers gave her, her stomach couldn’t handle it and she threw it up. The rescuers couldn’t get a signal for their cell phone, so they decided to go to a ranch about an hour away, for help. Rita was too weak to go with them, but they sent help. A helicopter flew in to pick Rita up. When it got there, she was all ready with her purse and luggage packed.

The RCMP tweeted, “Rita found alive at vehicle. Van off road, stuck in Nevada.”

Rita is now in a hospital in Idaho, where she is recovering. She said that she felt she would have been dead if she had not been rescued when she was.

Searchers are now looking for Albert Chretien, who has not been seen since he left the van to go for help. Having found Rita, the searchers have some good information to go on.

Officials said the area the couple was in had some snow, rain and fairly cold temperatures. There had also been a landslide near where the couple got stuck. One of the Chretiens’s three sons, Raymond, said his parents “don’t go camping” and were not prepared for that kind of weather.


Writing/Discussion Prompt
Rita was alone in the wilderness for a very long time.
Imagine that you were Rita by yourself in the van.  Write an imaginary journal entry that explains what you were thinking about, how you were feeling, and what you were doing in order to survive.

Reading Prompt
The article states, “Having found Rita, the searchers have some good information to go on.”  What information do you think the searchers would gain from talking to Rita?  How do you think they will use this information to look for Albert?

Use stated and implied information and ideas in texts to make simple inferences and reasonable predictions about them (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Use stated and implied ideas in texts to make inferences and construct meaning (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Develop and explain interpretations of increasingly complex or difficult texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts to support their interpretations (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Grammar Feature: Past and Present Verbs
A verb is an action word, such as listen, help, run and type.  In the article, some verbs are written in the past tense to explain about something that happened in the past.  Other verbs are written in the present tense to explain what is happening now.
Underline verbs written in the past in green and verbs written in the present tense in red.