Couple rescued after spending 5 days stranded in frigid California forest

Couple rescued after spending 5 days stranded in frigid California forest
Jason Logan and his father in-law Ron Lovell stepped up to save Carlos Hernandez and Maia Herman-Kitami. The couple had gone missing in the Mendocino National Forest. (Source: KRCR/CNN)

MENDOCINO, CA (KRCR/CNN) - After five days stranded in a snowy California forest, a San Francisco couple was rescued by some Good Samaritans.

"With the weather we had at the time, I'm fairly convinced the Jeep would have been buried by this morning,” said Jason Logan, contemplating what may have been the fate of Carlos Hernandez and Maia Herman-Kitami had he not set out to find them. “How long they would have made it, I don't know."

Logan and his father in-law Ron Lovell had heard that Hernandez, 21, and Herman-Kitami, 18, had gone missing in or near the Mendocino National Forest.

“The wife said ‘why don't you guys go up and see if you can find these guys.’ So, we loaded up the snow machines and away we went," Logan said.

On his day off Logan and Lovell searched more than 20 miles for four hours on snow machines.

They were considering turning back when he says, it felt like a miracle.

"Sure enough, we came around the turn and there's a Jeep 300 yards away,” Logan said. “It was just mind boggling."

But the excitement quickly turned to fear.

Logan wasn’t sure what he would find inside the vehicle.

But the couple responded quickly.

"They started laying on the horn, you see both doors open and they jumped out each side," Logan said.

The couple rationed their food and melted snow for water for five days.

They cleared the snow from the top of the Jeep and put a sign on a nearby tree. They also stayed in the Jeep to keep warm in sleeping bags.

"They did everything right," Logan said.

The Good Samaritans then rescued them from the forest using Jeeps to pull their vehicle out.

"They were excited and we were excited and it didn't feel like a rescue mission by any means, it was just 'hey let’s get you out of here and get you down the hill," Logan said.

Now the couple is safe and back home in San Francisco. Logan's family has some new friends.

"It was a happy ending for everyone," Logan said.

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