Swedish man survives for months in snowed-in car

STOCKHOLM Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:43pm EST

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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A Swedish man was dug out alive after being snowed in to his car on a forest track for two months with no food, police and local media reported on Saturday.

The 45-year-old from southern Sweden was found on Friday, emaciated and too weak to utter more than a few words.

He was found not far from the city of Umea in the north of Sweden by snowmobilers who thought they had come across a car wreck until they dug their way to a window and saw movement inside.

The man, who was laying in the back seat in a sleeping bag, said he had been in the car since December 19.

"Just incredible that he's alive considering that he had no food, but also since it's been really cold for some time after Christmas," a rescue team member told regional daily Vasterbottens-Kuriren, which broke the news.

Ebbe Nyberg, duty officer at the Umea police, said police saw no reason to doubt that the man had been stuck in the car for a very long time.

"We would not make something like this up. The rescue services were on site too and saw the same as us," he told Vasterbottens-Kuriren.

Umea University Hospital, where the man is recovering after being rescued by police and a rescue team, said in a statement he was doing well considering the circumstances.

Doctors at the hospital said humans would normally be able to survive for about four weeks without food. Besides eating snow, the man probably survived by going into a dormant-like state, physician Stefan Branth told Vasterbottens-Kuriren.

"A bit like a bear that hibernates. Humans can do that," he said. "He probably had a body temperature of around 31 degrees (Celsius) which the body adjusted to. Due to the low temperature, not much energy was used up."

Why the man ended up under the snow in the forest remains unknown, police said.

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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Comments (3)
AlisonR1 wrote:
Wow, that’s crazy! I wonder if he tried to escape at all. That’s a long time to be without anything. Good to hear he’s doing okay though.

Feb 18, 2012 7:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Bobo_9 wrote:
The story actually seems to be a bit fabricated – maybe not, but seems crazy. For example news reports here said he would open the window from time to time to get some snow to eat. But if he could open the window why not start to shovel snow with his hands to see if he could get out ?? Passersby could see his car in a snow bank (thinking it was a wreck), so seems he wasn’t all that deep & could possibly have dug himself out. Just seems really odd – was he really stuck out there since Dec 19 ??

Feb 20, 2012 9:48am EST  --  Report as abuse
rbodell wrote:
To begin with, leaving the car would be suicide since it had protection. later he probably became too weak to travel. I doubt he was thinking very clearly either after all that time without food.

Feb 20, 2012 7:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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