On January 27, 2020, just before 9 PM, the Sheriff’s Office received a call from a 37-year-old Black Canyon City woman who reported that she was hiking alone and lost. She was in a remote area outside of Black Canyon City, near a river. The woman had no food, water, or supplies including a light to navigate the darkness. Based on her 911 call, dispatchers were able to obtain GPS coordinates.
A YCSO Forest Patrol deputy called out the Backcountry Unit from the Yavapai County Search and Rescue Team.
While the Backcountry volunteers were responding, the lost hiker was instructed to remain stationary. This direction was critical to prevent risk of injury if she was to continue and try to ‘self-rescue,’ and staying in one place gave rescuers a non-moving target to focus their rescue coordination effort. Although cell service was spotty, dispatchers and deputies were able to check on her periodically.
The full search effort, which utilized multiple access points based on the GPS coordinates, was underway before midnight and resulted in searchers finding the lost hiker around 1 AM. She was escorted out safely, checked by medics from the Daisy Mountain Fire Department and released.
Lesson - NEVER HIKE ALONE! But if you do - Never leave without telling someone where you are going, the intended route, how long you will be gone and your expected return.
Carry the appropriate equipment for current and expected weather and terrain.
Carry adequate communications I.E fully charged cell phone, GPS, 2-way Radio, location transmitter.
STAY PUT ONCE YOU'RE IN TROUBLE, LOST AND/ OR HAVE CALLED FOR HELP!
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov