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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 December 2007, 05:21 GMT
Snow rescue for California family
Joshua and Alexis Dominguez are helped from a helicopter, 19 December 2007
Rescue efforts were initially hampered by blizzards
A family that got lost while searching for a Christmas tree in California has been rescued after sheltering in a wood for three days in heavy snow.

Frederick Dominguez and his three children went missing on Sunday near Inskip, 190 miles (305 kilometres) north of San Francisco.

They huddled together in a culvert under a bridge before being spotted by a rescue helicopter on Wednesday.

Until then, aerial searches had been impossible because of bad weather.

The family said they got lost going from pine to pine trying to find the perfect Christmas tree, the Associated Press reported.


The four huddled together telling jokes and singing songs for the first couple of days before beginning to grow scared, said Lisa Sams, Dominguez's ex-wife and the mother of the three children.

They were dressed in jeans, sweat shirts and coats.

The father had taken off his sweat shirt and wrapped the torn-up fabric around his children's feet.

The helicopter pilot and a paramedic saw Mr Dominguez waving and the word "help" marked in the snow before landing to pick the family up.

Rescue teams had been racing against time, with another big storm forecast in the remote region.

A paramedic said the children, who are aged 18, 15 and 12, were suffering from mild hypothermia and frostbite but were otherwise in good condition.

Rescue helicopter brings family to safety

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