Teens rescued from Grand Canyon after 5 days

Reese McMichael and Rowan Fitch became lost on a hike in the Grand Canyon in 100-degree heat for five days until they were rescued by a helicopter as they waved branches as an SOS.
2:32 | 08/25/17

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Transcript for Teens rescued from Grand Canyon after 5 days
We're back now with that remarkable rescue out of the grand canyon. Two teenagers spent five days lost in that national park surviving on just two granola bars and puddles of water. Millions of Americans visit national parks each year and on average there are more than 2,000 rescue operations. ABC's Adrienne Bankert is in new Jersey this morning with more on the story. Good morning, Adrienne. Reporter: Good morning to you, too, Amy. These two have known each other since kindergarten. Lifelong buddies who wanted a memory before they both went away to college. This -- what happened in Arizona is something neither of their families will ever forget. Reese Mcmichael and Rowan Fitch's summer adventure to the grand canyon became mission impossible, lost in 100-degree temperatures for five days. Out of water the first day, dehydrated, drinking from puddles. We found a few areas where water would just barely trickle out of the ground. Reporter: Rationing what little food they had. Every day we'd eat a piece of a granola bar about that big. Reporter: Exhausted trying not to panic their survival instincts kicked in. We made a big sign with like rocks at the base of the trail that pointed to where we were. Reporter: But on the fifth day their lifeline came by way of a helicopter and a tenacious sos. I had this big lifeguard whistle and started blowing we're like waving branches at it and stuff. We both felt like a tremendous sense of relief. Reporter: With more than 2300 national park rescues in just one year at a cost of $4 million, missing hikers are keeping rangers busy. Just this week an 18-year-old found alive after 11 days without food. Experts say on top of basics like keeping paper maps and telling others where you'll be even in a dead zone deep in the wilderness your phone could save your life. A lot of types with the phones, the gps will still work if you don't have that cell reception a lot of times, a text will come through. Reporter: Rowan and Reese grateful the help came through. I don't think I could have done it with anyone else besides Rowan. We could get through anything together. Really sweet story. Thank goodness they had each other and that bright Orange whistle. One more tip for cell phones from rangers, familiarize yourself with a compass. You can tell people your exact longitude and latitude and also download maps to your phone and saved there whether you have service or not. Life-saving tips. Thanks so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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