Palo Alto couple rescued in Marin County are in ‘amazing spirits’ during recovery

Bay Area

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – The Palo Alto couple who was missing for over a week are now recovering after being rescued Saturday morning in Marin County.

Search and Rescue volunteers located the couple in dense woods on Shallow Beach during the sixth day of the search.

Carol Kiparsky and Ian Irwin went hiking on Valentine’s Day when they got lost in the dark near Inverness.

Despite search efforts having shifted to recovery in the recent days, the couple was found alive.

They were said to be in good spirits on Saturday night and on Sunday, the family confirmed that those spirits have only lifted.

The Irwin and Kiparsky family released the following statement:

On behalf of Carol Kiparsky and Ian Irwin, we wanted to provide everyone with an update. Carol and Ian are in amazing spirits and have expressed their gratitude to everyone for the well wishes during their recovery. They are still hospitalized and being monitored due to the extensive abrasions from the dense brush. They have an excellent group of professionals monitoring them at a local hospital. 

Carol and Ian have met with both the Marin County Sheriff’s Office and Search and Rescue Team members. They will be forever grateful for the hard work and dedication put forth by all of the Search and Rescue volunteers and First Responders from all over the Bay Area who searched every day for them.

They look forward to telling their story in time, but are asking for privacy until they are ready to tell the story of how they survived the unimaginable seven nights in the Inverness wilderness. Until they are ready to tell their story, please respect the privacy of our family as we work toward their recovery.

Thank you to everyone involved, we will be forever grateful for the work you do.

They were unprepared for a long hike or the cold weather, when night temperatures dipped into the 30′s, and survived by drinking from a puddle, Marin County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brenton Schneider said at a news conference. .

At some point, they may have fallen and Kiparsky attempted to find help alone. She tried parts of her scarf to branches in order to get back to her partner, Schneider said.

“They thought this was the end for them.”

Kiparsky and Irwin were last seen Feb. 14 at a vacation cottage near Inverness, a town at the foot of the bay. The couple from Palo Alto never checked out the next day as planned and failed to show up for an appointment on Feb. 16, which sheriff’s officials said was highly out of character for them.

When housekeepers went to the cottage to clean up, they found the couple’s phones and wallets. Their vehicle was parked outside.

No foul play was suspected.

Sheriff’s officials and a volunteer team combed the woods and waters around Inverness for several days with the help of drones, dive teams and boats equipped with radar and sonar. On Thursday, they shifted the operation to a “recovery mission” when they received four independent alerts from cadaver dogs around Shell Beach, about 2 miles from the cottage, and felt they had exhausted all possible leads.

“We believe that our extensive search efforts with every resource that has been available to us would have located Carol and Ian if they were responsive or in an area accessible by foot on land,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release.

Irwin is a leading Parkinson’s disease researcher. He was a chemist on the team that originally identified an agent responsible for the outbreak of Parkinsonism among heroin addicts in 1982, according to the newspaper.

Kiparsky is a prominent linguist and author of several books on language, including 1975′s “The Gooficon: A Repair Manual for English.”

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