Maricopa County Sherriff’s Search and Rescue. Another Life Saved by Volunteerssardude wrote:With the summer temps upon us, Pinal County SAR has been reasonably quiet. We have had some days with the heat index approaching 120 degrees.
Sunday June 26, callout 2030. 28 year old male visiting from WA. Left Peralta at 1100 intending to do 104 to Bluff Springs Loop (counter clockwise) He had six, 16 oz bottles of water. Wife called him in as overdue around 2000.
8 of us showed up at TH as Ranger was doing it's first search. Hiker spotted North of Weavers Needle on Terrapin. Ranger flew him back to TH since he was out of water and cramping.
It sounds like as he approached the Terrapin junction off of Bluff Springs, he was walking in the wash and didn't see the sign since it was dark and the sign is up on the trail. He saw the trail down by the wash going up so thought he was still on Bluff Springs and didn't realize he was on Terrapin.
When Ranger got to him, he'd already been out of water for several hours. He has no clue how close to death he came. Temperatures were still in the 100's after dark.
Saturday July 10. Search started 1900 hrs in Maricopa vicinity. Searching for clues to a possible crime scene. No other info can be offered. Very large dust storm, then lightning and rain. Around 2330 we received a call about a lost hiker on Picketpost Mt., around 70 miles in the opposite direction. En route, teams were hit with a torrential monsoon storm.
53 yr. old male left TH at 0500 to hike to the top of Picketpost. He encountered issues that made a longer than expected hike. He ran out of water but the torrential rain helped as he captured water in his Nalgene bottles. He was semi prepared as he had a light, whistle, hiking poles, and good hiking boots. The teams ran into him about 30 minutes from the TH. He was cold, wet, and happy to be getting back to the TH. Teams out of field 0400.
July 23, callout 1620, temps approaching 110. Hiker 911 from Robber's Roost/West Boulder area. Out of water and in distress. MCSO helo extracted subject and delivered them to TH. Teams in route called back. Thank God, hiking up Carney in 110 degrees is not my cup of tea. Thanks to MCSO helo.
Mostly, people hiking in the summer in the Supes are prepared. The logic is somewhat scewed, but whom am I to talk logic. Time of day and lots of water and knowledge will lead to a "fun" hike and not having to put my SAR brother and sisters in harms way. If you have to think twice before you do it, Don't do it.
As I left the Canyon Lake Sherriff’s Sub-Station at Canyon Lake, I was handed a card for survival in the desert.
“Tell someone where you are going and when you will return. I did this in spades to no avail.” I told three people and no one called 911. One of them gets a pass because I lost cell phone service while saying, “If I am not out by 1:00 call 911.
“Carry plenty of water.” I am guilty of not doing this one. When my two waters were half gone I knew I needed to go back. But I was too heat exhausted to climb up the way I went down, so I headed for the lake down a wash.
“Don’t hike alone. Stay together.” I am guilty again. I went alone thinking I would be out before it got hot.
“Know the names of the area & trail.” I am a seasoned hiker but did not know the name of these particular trails.
“Carry a trail map.” Guilty again! Even though I studied the area on Google Earth I had no map.
“Wear appropriate clothing and sturdy hiking footwear.” I did this part fine.
“Know your limitations.” Guilty, I had never experienced heat exhaustion, but I did this time, was literally crawling when I found the watering hole.
“Carry the 12 Essentials.” (over)
“Be weather wise.” I was aware of flash floods and would have stayed out of the low lands if it rained. I did not think the heat would sap me so much.
“Learn basic first aid.” I felt pretty good about this one.
“If you are lost, stay calm & stay put. After a few circular routes after finding a watering hole, I knew to stay put.
The 12 Essentials
1. “Navigation” (map & compass)” I had the compass, no map. I had no energy to go in the right direction over the rough terrain.
2. “Sun Protection” (hat, sunscreen) I had the hat could have used the sunscreen.
3. “Insulation” (extra clothing) Heavy fishing vest and long sleeve denim shirt and chaps, which I soon discarded the chaps, too hot, too heavy, I also left my metal detector along the trail. When your life is at stake material things do not matter.
4. “Illumination” (flashlight) I had a flashlight on my weather radio, great comfort and very necessary illumination.
5. “First-Aid Supplies” I did not have anything like that.
6. “Repair Kit & Tools” (incl. knife) No knife, no repair kit. I did have tools that
helped me rip apart a Saguaro and eat it, which I learned later was a no, no. dehydrated me and gave me violent diarrhea. I guess okay to suck the moisture and eat the fruit.
7. “Fire” (matches or lighter) I had a lighter and started two fires in 119 degree temperature
8. “Nutrition” (extra food) I had eaten my breakfast and had nothing more, it was all left in the car.
9. “Hydration” (extra water) I ran out of water at 1:00 p.m. on 07-07-2011 and did
not find First Water Creek until 8:00 p.m. the same day. Rescued 07-08-2011 5:00
10. “Emergency Shelter” (trash bag) No, nothing like that. I used overhanging boulder during the hottest part of day.
11. “Signaling (whistle, cell phone) I had both and used the whistle, which seemed to wet my whistle. The cell phone was useless at Canyon Lake. I would like to see a tower up there.
12. “Personal (glasses, prescriptions) I had the sun glasses the first day then they broke. I do not take any prescriptions even though I am a 63 year-old female.
Kudos to Dave, (commander of the operation and Eric, what gracious guys who were only worried about my safety, even though the helicopter could not land and had to walk out most of the way after they worked to clear the trail for the landing. Thanks to the pilot who was a very gifted pilot and Jeanette the paramedic who saw me to the hospital and the safe driving of the ambulance driver. I also want to thank the Ranger who noticed my car along Highway 88 at 6:00 p.m. on his way home and then again the next morning and started the search. Thanks to all involved, I am alive and will not go in the mountains alone again. Side note: It was not lost on my rescuers that it was exactly to the day the one year anniversary of when the three hikers from Utah went missing.