The successful rescue of Carol Kiparsky and Ian Irwin was looking grimmer by the day after the two vanished on a Valentine's Day hike together in the Inverness area. But after a week-long search for the couple, both were found alive yesterday.

Various news outlets — KRON4, SFGate, ABC7, etc. — shared the unexpected, joyous update on the MIA Palo Alto couple yesterday, the Marin County Sheriff's Office tweeting a photo of the couple recovering at Marin Health from minor scrapes, bruises, and mild cases of hypothermia — though giving "thumbs-ups," despite the fact that Carol was found sans shoes; Ian was even reported singing when the Sonoma Sheriff’s helicopter came.

“This is a miracle,” Sargent Brenton Schneider, a spokesman for the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, said at a news conference Saturday afternoon in Inverness, according to The Chronicle.

77-year-old Carol Kiparsky (a trained herbalist and retired linguist) and 72-year-old Ian Irwin (who's background includes mountaineering and is also a Parkinson's disease researcher) were found in a drainage area surrounded by “insanely thick” verdure at around 10 a.m. Saturday. Some 400 to 500 people — a gaggle of volunteers, seasoned rescue teams, and other local, state, and national first-responders — were involved in the seve-day-long search which utilized an airplane, helicopter, boats, horses, drones and a K9 team to seek out and extract the lost twosome. Kiparsky and Irwin were liberated only a few miles from their rented cottage on Via de la Vista in the Seahaven-Inverness area where their trudge started.

How did they survive for such a long time? Schneider believes they're alive because of both situational savvy and environmental luck: “The reason they are most likely alive is they were drinking from a puddle they found near where they were located."

That, and "chivalry" had a part in their endurance. "[Ian] was laying his body flat into that awful thorny crap, which poison oak, you name it, so that Carol could go over him," Irwin said. "That's chivalry like I hope that's still alive."

Both Irwin and Kiparsky are expected to make full recoveries, news their sons, Jon Kiparsky and Jonas Irwin, were elated to learn.

Related: Palo Alto Academics Vanish Leaving No Clues at Inverness Vacation Rental

Image: Twitter via @MarinSheriff