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Pilot and Passenger Rescued After Seven Weeks in Canadian North

Mar. 25, 1963 - Starving and injured but determined to live, a California pilot and an adventurous young lady from New York City were rescued today seven weeks after their light plane crashed in the white hell of the Canadian north. Helen Klaben (pictured), 21, of Brooklyn, and Ralph Flores, 42, a father of 6 from San Bruno, Calif., were plucked from their snowbound isolation in north British Columbia 6 weeks after they had exhausted their food and 19 days after officials had abandoned hope for them. Flores’ exhausting three-day effort stomping out an SOS in the snow and the chance observation of a Canadian pilot flying big-game hunting supplies combined to save them. “We never gave up at any point,” said Flores, carrying a Bible both had read during their ordeal. Despite a fractured right rib and bruises, Flores had rigged a makeshift shelter that saved them from 40-below temperatures and driving snow. Miss Klaben and Flores were flown from the crash scene to Watson Lake, inside Yukon territory, and then to Whitehorse, where they were admitted to the hospital. Both were suffering from malnutrition and exposure.


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