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Trapped in crater: Woman climbs into pit unprepared for harsh conditions

Woman trapped in crater in Cottage Grove, Ore. saved.
Woman trapped in crater in Cottage Grove, Ore. saved.
Commons Wikimedia

An Oregon woman trapped in a crater for a week survived the experience despite wintry conditions of snow, ice, and frigid temperatures. Reuters reported Feb. 14 that 52-year-old Sharon Bates had been outdoors since Feb. 7 seeking "solitude." She was not dressed for the weather and managed to climb into a big crater she could not get herself out of.

Bates was trapped in a crater located near Cottage Grove's McFarland Cemetery. The hole was 30-feet-wide and 12-feet-deep. On Sunday Bate's sister reported her missing and she was found Thursday. Police were clued into searching around the Cottage Grove area -- 130 miles south of Portland -- because Bates' family told them how much she loved being around it.

The woman was in surprisingly good condition, according to police. A harsh snowstorm swept through western Oregon during the first few days Bates was stranded in the crater. It was followed by ice rain and extremely low temperatures. The days leading up to Thursday were considerably better, but still damp and somewhat cold.

As she was trapped in the crater, Bates managed to stay alive by using snow and rain water to drink. She put all of it in a plastic bag she found in the crater. Some large trees also provided some protection for Bates, but she was lucky no large tree limbs dropped on her due to the heavy snow breaking them.

The fire department lifted Bates out of the pit and she was transferred to the hospital. She was listed in fair condition, the report stated.

It would be a threatening experience to be trapped in a crater like Sharon Bates was. Choosing to climb inside a large hole like that was probably not the best move someone can make in the midst of winter or any other time unless they are fully equipped for it. She is lucky to be alive.

Copyright © 2014 Heather Tooley

Heather focuses on trending news and entertainment headlines. To read more from this writer, her Twitter page is @HotTopicWriter or hit the "Subscribe" at the beginning of the article above.

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