Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

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hikin_jim
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Re: Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

Post by hikin_jim » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:47 pm

I agree with you there. There are pros and cons to the SPOT vs. a PLB, but better to have one or the other than none.

HJ

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Re: Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

Post by sardude » Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:25 am

Hello all, just catching up on PCSO adventures. Lots of training and the rescue season is heating up.

1-23. Callout 1830, Man doing Ridgeline hike, seperated from two groups. Teams dispatched Peralta, Carney Springs, West Boulder. Contact made and subject confirmed he was ok and prepared to spend night. Walked out at daylight. Teams out of field at 0600 1-24.

2-12. Team training all day, hiking West Boulder-Fremont-Peralta. Near West Boulder Saddle, turned two groups around that missed the Carney intersection. This is becoming a common occurence.
While en route home, callout 1630, injury at Picket Post Mountain. Teams responding and call cancelled at 1730.

2-21. Callout 1700, injured woman on Peralta Trail. Teams dispatched and call cancelled at 1730. Her hiking group assisted in getting her to TH.

2-22. Callout 0130. 3 overdue from ATV trip into Box Canyon area. Family received phone call and deputies got coordinates, drove in, and found them in the Martinez Canyon area, stuck in the mud. Out of field 1230.

2-23 Callout 2030. 2 overdue hikers in the Peralta Canyon area. Teams dispatched up Peralta, Cave Trail, and Carney. Group split up, 2 went down Peralta, 2 headed up the west side of canyon from Fremont. Voice contact made and crews attempted to reach them during the night. Due to terrain issues and safety considerations teams put on hold till light. Subjects and teams out of field at 0730, 2-24.

Most of these calls were bad decisions by hikers, splitting up from groups, not knowing the trails, not being prepared. Anyone can be injured, all it takes is one misstep. Lack of preparation can be minimized by a little forethought and planning. Take the time and make it easier on all.

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Re: Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

Post by hikin_jim » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:48 pm

SAR dude, thanks for your post.

Any time you can post specifics about what hikers did/did not do that caused a problem, that would be great to hear about. I really appreciate knowing about mistakes by reading about them instead of trying them out for myself. :)

HJ

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Re: Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

Post by sardude » Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:52 pm

Yeah HJ, I will try and be more explicit with ooppssiieess. Time and again the beauty of looking for lost hikers instead of lost prospectors is they tend to make the same mistakes ON TRAIL, time and again. There is a certain intersection in the Supes that over the years, many many rescues have occured because of bad placement of a trail sign. "Miraculously" last March the sign moved around 8 feet, no issues in nearly a year. We talked to the NFS with no luck for many years about this issue. I guess sometimes things just happen. Missing prospectors are a different story. The Supes are approximately 250 square miles of bad country. Generally they will not be looking for "stuff" on the trails. That leaves basically the whole world to be searched. As you know, you can be 5 ft from something and unable to see it due to the terrain. I have always thought that they will be found when God decides. That seems to be the case.

As far as the PLB vs SPOT, anything that gives the SAR a location is ok by my book. We are having more rescues with the SPOT locator recently. I carry one myself and would encourage anyone who spends alot of time in the backcountry to carry one or the other. My friends can log on to my shared site and watch my hike in real time. During the search in July, my daughter was watching our search. Four hours to Red Tanks Pass, 5 minutes back. What a joy it was when the helo picked us up and gave us that ride back in the 100 degree plus temps. She got a kick out of that.
adios

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Re: Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

Post by hikin_jim » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:04 pm

sardude wrote:Yeah HJ, I will try and be more explicit with ooppssiieess.
:lol: I think you should copyright that word. Any info much appreciated.

Seems to me that a lot of folks get into trouble due to navigation mistakes. Yeah, doing something dumb and getting injured is a good way to get to know your local SAR, but still a fair number are people making bad nav decisions and then getting caught out overnight, lost, etc. Were I to put in a plug for hikers, prospectors, etc. it's get to know your way around a map. Good map reading can stop a problem before it starts.

HJ

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Re: Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

Post by Jim Hatt » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:10 pm

sardude wrote:
Missing prospectors are a different story. The Supes are approximately 250 square miles of bad country. Generally they will not be looking for "stuff" on the trails. That leaves basically the whole world to be searched.
10-4 on that SARdude,

No mountain is too high, and no valley is too deep, for us "Gold Rush Guys"... :mrgreen:

If there is a clue or a map. that seems to even remotely fit an area. We just have to see it up close!

;)

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Re: Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

Post by GeorgeW » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:23 pm

Too true Jim. I sometimes think I have hiking ADD. I'll be on a hike and look to one side and think, "That looks interesting". Every time I do a hike, I see 3-4 more things or places I want to check out. Sometimes on the way to check out something I'll get distracted by something else. I guess that's where a spot would be handy. I do let my wife know where I'm heading but sometimes I may get a bit off course. ;)

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Re: Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

Post by sardude » Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:14 am

And the season begins to heat up, temperature and rescues. Next week is Spring Break locally, always a "fun" time for SAR.
3-4-11 Callout 1630 Peralta TH. Teams dispatched. Upon arrival, Deputy saw AJFD was on scene and conducting ops. SAR call cancelled 1715.

3-6-11 Callout 1430 Treasure Loop in Lost Dutchman State Park. Female with lower leg injury. Teams dispatched. 4 teams hiked in and a 5th went in with the deputy on an ATV. Patient packaged, carried to ATV, and transported to TH. Subject was 60 yr. old+ from Germany with a possible lower leg fracture. Transported by ambulance to hospital. Teams out of field at 1730.

3-6-11 1735 Siphon Draw injury to lower leg. As teams were leaving parking lot a second call came in. Teams moved to Old Siphon Draw TH and team 1 went in with the deputy on ATV. They ran into subject being transported out on ATV by Park ranger. Patient refused treatment and left with group. Team out of field again at 1815.

3-7-11 Team put on standby at 0430. 4 overdue hikers from Peralta TH. Group went in rock hunting and decided to hike out to First Water. Hiked til 1:00am and decided to stop somewhere NW of Weavers Needle. They had a GPS but it was "new" and they had not figured it out yet. Ranger found them at first light and they made it out. Teams off standby at 0830.

Both of the subjects in the park were wearing appropriate footwear for hiking. The incident on Treasure Loop happened in a place where we get several calls a year for leg injuries, mostly inappropriate footwear.

The standby call info was a little sketchy, but "operator error" looks to be the root cause.

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Re: Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

Post by hikin_jim » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:55 am

sardude wrote:The standby call info was a little sketchy, but "operator error" looks to be the root cause.
Oh, you mean I have to know how to read the GPS before I use it? :lol:

Some of the most lost hikers I've ever met in the back country had a GPS.

One has to be able to:
1. Be able to associate what's on the GPS with the terrain around them.
and
2. Be able to associate what's on the GPS with what's on your map.

Knowing one's latitude and longitude is of precious little value in terms of navigation if you can't associate it to your map and what's around you. You are carrying a topo map, aren't you? GPS's are great but they are electronic and can break or the batteries can die. A topo map is not only a back up but is also a good planning tool because you can see a wider area at a glance than that tiny little window on your GPS. That nice smooth canyon that you're following down may look all nice in that tiny GPS window, but down on ahead, it "cliffs out" when it joins a main canyon. Had you looked at your map, which shows more area, you'd have chosen a different route.

By the way, a lot of GPS's are set to NAD83/WGS84 coordinates. Maps are pretty much all drawn to NAD27 coordinates. You either need to know how to convert between the two or better still set your GPS to the same coordinate system as your map.

If you ever have to report a location, make sure to include the coordinate system. I heard of one case where SAR air resources were using WGS84 and ground resources were using NAD27. The air resources dropped the ground search team off at the "wrong" spot (from the perspective of the ground search team). You wouldn't want SAR to be searching off somewhere else when it's you or one of your loved ones that's injured or lost, now would you?

HJ

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Re: Successful Search & Rescue Missions with happy endings

Post by gollum » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:52 am

sardude wrote:FRS is the acronym for Family Radio Service. It is the common 2 way radio that you can buy and operate without any special license. The Garmin Rino series GPS are equipped with them. It is a line of sight communication device for shorter distances. As we have all seen in the Supes, regardless of line of sight or cell phone reception bars, when the man upstairs wants you to get reception, you get reception. Sometimes it doesn't make any sense HOW you can be communicating with someone you shouldn't be able to. That is just how it is.
SARDUDE,

I couldn't have said it better myself. After almost 14 years working in field communications in both the US Navy and the US Army, I remember tons of times I should have had no problems with commo, but couldn't talk, and places I should not have been able to get coming in clear as a bell, like sitting in the woods in Honduras using an AN/PRC-77 (prick 77) pack radio doing radio checks for the tower at Macdill Air Base in Tampa, Florida when they went to the can or to get coffee. For some reason, I never had any problems getting them at night. That radio should have never gotten past 5 or 10 kilometers. Lol

Best-Mike

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