Missing Teen Found Alive, Survived by Building Snow Cave

A missing teen has been found alive after surviving in a snow cave he built. Nicholas Joy, 17, survived for two nights by building the shelter and drinking water from a nearby stream.

Joy and his father were skiing together but decided to take separate trails and meet in the parking lot of the resort. Unfortunately, Joy accidentally skied off his trail and didn't realize he was lost before it was too late. Joy pulled himself together and managed to build the shelter in order to protect him from the elements.

He also located fresh water from a nearby stream and staved off dehydration. Joy rested at night and walked toward the sound of snowmobiles during the day, hoping he would eventually run into someone or catch someone's attention.

Navy SEALs, police, Marines, and local rescue squads all set out on skis, snowmobiles, and snowshoes to locate Joy. He was actually located, though, by a snowmobiler who was not part of the official search team. Joy was then taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation.

He was in "remarkably good shape. He did the right thing in building a snow cave, and obviously he's still alive to talk about it, so he made some good decisions," Lt. Kevin Adam told the Associated Press.

Members of the town were overjoyed to learn that Joy was found unharmed, given the conditions and odds of survival in the wild.

"I cried with them (Joy's parents)," John Diller, general manager at Sugarloaf told the Bangor Daily News. "It was almost like a miracle."

Joy said he was a fan of reality TV and survival shows. "Maybe that's a little bit of what helped him organize," Diller said.

Once Joy is feeling better, officials will speak with him about his survival and how he knew what to do to stay safe and survive. It's an example that others could use to survive if they are lost in the future.