Police Rescue Man Lost in Nevada Desert for a Week

The 69-year-old man is recovering in the hospital.

— -- A 69-year-old Oregon man has two Nevada police officers to thank for saving his life after he was lost in the desert for a week.

Philip Besanson said he was traveling from Arizona to Eugene, Oregon, when his truck broke down on a snow-covered road 50 miles north of Gerlach, Nevada on Feb. 5, according to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office in Reno, Nevada.

The man stayed with his vehicle and survived off of rationed canned food and water from the melted snow, the sheriff’s office said in a press release.

On Friday, Patrol Lt. Phil Condon and Sgt. Dennis Hippert were inspecting the remote area of the highway when they found Besanson that morning. They took him to a hospital in Cedarville, Calif., where he's recovering.

The rescuers say Besanson did the smart thing by staying with his truck rather than attempting to walk to Gerlach. The vehicle provided shelter and was much easier for Condon and Hippert to locate.

“Mr. Besanson told us that he believes his life was saved by Lieutenant Condon and Sergeant Hippert today and I agree with him,” said Washoe County Sheriff Chuck Allen, who praised the officers in a statement.

“Because of the bad road and weather conditions along SR 34 this time of year, it may have been several more weeks before anyone else traveled up that particular stretch of highway and located this gentleman," he added.