Chandler father, teen use survival skills after becoming stranded

Posted at 7:10 PM, Dec 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-03 00:49:13-05

Survival smarts saved a Chandler man and his son after they were stranded in the wilderness near Globe.

Tim Corbitt and his 13-year-old son, T.J., were missing for 48 hours. They were supposed to meet relatives for hunting last Friday, but their truck slid off a remote road in an area where there was no cell service.

Luckily, they weren't hurt, but they were stuck.

Corbitt was worried additional weight in the truck would cause it to slide further down the slope, so the father and son made a makeshift tent with a pop-up canopy and tarps. Neither slept during the cold and windy nights.

"The wind comes in there, and you just try to hold it [the tent] down," Corbitt said. "There's couple times it almost took me off my feet." 

Eventually, a hunter on another ridge spotted the pair's truck through his scope, and he reported it to authorities. A DPS helicopter arrived to rescue them just before a winter storm on Sunday.

"I picked up a chair, and I started waving it so they could see us," said T.J. 

Rescuers said the father and son did everything right. They packed extra food and clothes for the trip. They also stayed with their vehicle, so they were easy to spot.

"I knew somebody was going to come," said Corbitt. "We were right out in the open. We just had to stick it out."