Adobe Stock | Inset: KITV / YouTube

A 34-year-old travel blogger is praising God after he survived a 1,000-foot fall and three days of being stranded in Honolulu, Hawaii. On December 4, Ian Snyder was hiking alone along the Koʻolau Summit Trail when he slipped and fell down the steep mountainside. He shattered his arm and was knocked unconscious by the fall. His eye was also swollen shut. Snyder landed near the bottom of a waterfall and was able to drag himself to the water so that he had something to drink while he waited for help. “I made sure I had a spot where I could get the water as I needed with my right hand and I just kind of hunkered down from there and time passed,” he said at a news conference.

Snyder’s family reported him missing when he didn’t return from his hike. Rescuers began a frantic search for Snyder, who spent the time making his peace with the possibility he might not survive. “I had made my peace and said, ‘If this is my time, I’m ready to go. But if it’s not my time, I know that that patch of sky in front of me, that I’ll be able to wave at a helicopter. I had made my peace with God. I will be OK whether I live or whether I die.” That didn’t mean the father of three had given up, though. “I wanted to live, so I wasn’t giving up the will to live,” he said. Fortunately for Snyder, he had posted pictures and videos of himself on social media, giving rescuers an idea of where to look for him.

On the third day of being stranded, Snyder heard a helicopter. “It had been twilight or dark and I had gotten some more water and then remember waking up and thinking, ‘I hear aircraft. It’s going very slow and very close. They must be looking for me.’ There was no other explanation,” he said. He was able to wave his good arm and get the rescuers’ attention. Finding Snyder alive was a huge surprise to many of the volunteer hikers who had joined the search. “I thought the best gift we could give to the family was that we had found a body and when we had a found a whole human living and breathing and waving at the sky, it was like, ‘Merry Christmas,’” said Amber Fonte of the Oahu Hiking Community.

Speaking at a press conference several days later with his right eye still swollen and his left arm in a sling, Snyder called his survival a “miracle.” “It’s a miracle, first and foremost, of God. I’m glad to be here, incredibly glad to be here and glad to be in mostly one piece. I’m incredibly grateful to all of you for the job you do each and every day,” he said. He said he believes the experience will be useful in some way. “I don’t know how this will be used instrumentally by God through my life, but I hope it will be useful in the long run,” he said. Posting recently to X, Snyder shared that his recovery is going well, but that he is still concerned for his right eye. “It is getting better, but I have some double vision persisting,” he wrote. “Prayer appreciated. I want to avoid surgery if at all possible.”

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