August 23, 2009
If you haven't heard the story about Ernie "Punch" McLean, the legendary junior hockey coach in British Columbia who went missing last weekend after searching for gold, then be prepared to think twice about your next camping trip.
During his search, McLean fell into a crevice after getting lost near Turnagain Lake in British Columbia. Even after hiking through steep mountains, the 77-year old McLean decided to walk the 12 hours toward an area where he saw floatplanes landing. Living off only creek water for five nights and four days, CBC reports that McLean was eventually found by a rescue helicopter. In trying to keep his spirits up, he attributed a positive attitude to his ability survive alone in the wilderness.
Of course a man with the nickname "Punch" would be tough as nails; they don't exactly hand those nicknames out to guys nominated for the Lady Byng. McLean is also an outspoken advocate of keeping fighting a part of the game saying last January, "...if they take hitting out of the game, maybe then I'll stop coming."
While Les Stroud might have taken current and former members of the NHL family into the wilderness of Hornpayne, Ontario recently for a charitable version of "Survivorman," it's unlikely McLean would receive an invite to a future challenge. It's obvious the man is some sort of superhuman. You see, this wasn't the first time McLean found himself in a bit of danger - no, it's happened several times in his life as the CBC pointed out:
"Reed credited McLean's legendary toughness, and a bit of luck, for his survival, noting McLean previously survived a plane crash in Saskatchewan, and walked out of the woods alive a few days later despite losing an eye and breaking several bones.
He's also survived car accidents, being run over by a bulldozer and being stranded on a frozen lake in freezing conditions for several days."
Looks like the cockroaches will have a partner when nuclear winter comes.