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Missing hiker found injured but alive after nine days in Sierra National Forest

A hiker who had been missing for nine days in the Sierra National Forest was found Saturday, injured but alive.

Miyuki Harwood, 62, had become separated from a group of hikers on a Sierra Club outing on Aug. 20, prompting a massive, multiagency search.

Members of the Fresno County sheriff’s search-and-rescue team found Harwood on Saturday morning in an area east of Courtwright Reservoir after she heard rescuers in the area and blew a whistle to get their attention, sheriff’s officials said in a statement.

She was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Fresno, where she was listed in stable condition.

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Sheriff’s officials said Harwood had been injured and stayed in the same area during the course of the nine days, without food, surviving on water she filtered from a nearby lake.

The Sacramento Bee reported that a friend of Harwood’s, Curtis Hendrickson, said the outing was the first time she had hiked with the group, but he described her as “ a very knowledgeable, experienced backpacker.”

Sierra Club Program Safety Manager Todd Duncan said in a statement that the group is “overjoyed” that Harwood was found. He thanked the agencies involved in the search as an “expert, dedicated group of professionals,” and said, “We wish Ms. Harwood a speedy and safe recovery and our thoughts are with her family.”     

Follow Abby Sewell on Twitter at @sewella.

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