MEDIA UPDATE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Subject: Coconino County Sheriff’sSearch and Rescue respond to multiple Search and Rescues over a 24 hour period
Flagstaff, AZ – On April 22nd, 2020, at approximately 7:10 PM, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received a call about an injured hiker somewhere in West Clear Creek Canyon.
Search and Rescue Coordinators from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office and Coconino County Sheriff’s Office determined personnel with the Copper Canyon Fire and Medical District were attempting to reach the hiker near Cash Tank along West Clear Creek after the reporting party’s cellphone lost power. Copper Canyon Fire and Medical District personnel requested an Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue helicopter to assist with a rescue, and a helicopter crew out of Kingman, AZ initially responded.
At approximately 7:30 PM, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office also received a call for a stranded hiker near Sycamore Falls in Sycamore Canyon, after the hiker was unable to return to the trailhead with his hiking companions, who left to call for help. The hiker had no food, water, light source, or any warm clothing, and the Coconino County Sheriff’s Deputies out of the Williams District were unable to identify a safe route into the area.
Due to the simultaneous calls for service, rescue personnel with the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office responded to the West Clear Creek area to assist with a rescue if a helicopter rescue would not be feasible. Rescue personnel with the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit responded to the Sycamore Falls area for the stranded hiker.
At approximately 10:20 PM, the injured hiker in West Clear Creek was successfully rescued during a nighttime hoist operation conducted by an Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter crew out of Phoenix, AZ with the assistance of the Kingman, AZ crew, as Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue personnel stood by to assist
On April 23rd, 2020 at approximately 1:00 AM, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue personnel contacted the stranded hiker after finding a non-technical route into Sycamore Canyon. The unprepared and exhausted hiker was assisted out of the canyon and returned to awaiting family at the trailhead.
At approximately 3:00 AM, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received a call for an overdue 15-year-old antler shed hunter near Sowats Point south of Fredonia after he failed to return after what was supposed to be a short hike. The overdue subject was last seen at 4:00pm on April 22nd.
A Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Deputy from the Fredonia district responded along with additional Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit personnel from Flagstaff, Bureau of Land Management Law Enforcement personnel, Arizona Game and Fish personnel, National Park Service personnel from Grand Canyon National Park, and an Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter based in Kingman, AZ. At approximately 10:15am on April 23rd the Sheriff’s Office was notified that hunters scouting for a Turkey hunt had located the juvenile.
The juvenile was then transported to meet responders and ultimately reunited with family members.
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue Unit, the Copper Canyon Fire and Medical District, Bureau of Land Management, Arizona Game and Fish, and the National Park Service for their assistance with the Multiple Search and Rescue calls..
The Search and Rescue Unit would like to remind outdoor users to be prepared for their activities by researching the weather and carrying the appropriate equipment including the 10 Essentials in addition to a fully charged cell phone. The 10 Essentials include water, food, extra warm clothing, navigation equipment (map, compass, GPS), a headlamp, first aid kit, shelter material (space blanket or large leaf bag), a fire-starting kit, pocket knife, and signal equipment (whistle and signal mirror). In addition to carrying the equipment and the knowledge to use the equipment safely, it is important to leave a detailed trip plan with a trusted person and to prepare to wait out inclement weather until rescuers arrive.