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‘It’s a miracle’: Legally blind hiker, 76, missing in Joshua Tree National Park, found after 3 days

A legally blind man who went missing after going for a hike in Joshua Tree National Park over the weekend has been found, authorities said.
A legally blind man who went missing after going for a hike in Joshua Tree National Park over the weekend has been found, authorities said.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

A legally blind man who went missing after going for a hike in Joshua Tree National Park over the weekend has been found, authorities said.

David Sewell, 76, left the Quail Springs parking lot Saturday and was headed for an “unspecified location” in Johnny Lang Canyon, the National Park Service said.

Park rangers who found Sewell’s silver Honda Odyssey around 8 p.m. Saturday also discovered a note in the car. In it, the Joshua Tree resident wrote that he was departing at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday and that if he was not back by the next day, he would need assistance.

Park officials said they spoke with Sewell’s daughter by phone and she described her father as having “numerous health issues” in addition to being legally blind.

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Search and rescue personnel started looking for Sewell on Monday morning and were able to locate him Tuesday around 11 a.m., according to park spokesman George Land. Sewell was later transported to a hospital in Palm Springs.

“It’s a miracle… He was awake, conscious and talking to rescuers when they found him,” Land said. “He had been up there for about three days without water.”

sarah.parvini@latimes.com

For more California news follow me on Twitter: @sarahparvini

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