Sheriff's Office

Posted on: June 8, 2017

Multiple Rescue Events in Last 48 Hours - Summer Activity in Full Swing

Forest Lakes area Rescue

Coconino County, AZ – Over the last 48 hours, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office has responded to four Search and Rescue (SAR) missions reaching from Sedona to the Grand Canyon and involving the response of numerous resources.

On June 6, 2017 at approximately 8:00 am, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a fall victim located in the area of Twentynine Mile Canyon which is west of Cedar Ridge, AZ.  Initial reports relayed that the victim had fallen approximately 200 feet and had sustained severe injuries. 

The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office began coordination of a rescue effort and deputies from the Page district of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene. As additional details were obtained, it was determined that the fall location was likely within the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park. Coconino County Sheriff’s Office continued coordinating this rescue effort as National Park resources were not available.

A helicopter from the Arizona Department of Public Safety as well as Coconino County Sheriff’s SAR Technical Rescue Team responded to the location. The victim identified as a 33 year-old male from Flagstaff, AZ was short-hauled from within the canyon back to the rim where he was transported by Classic Air Ambulance to Flagstaff Medical Center for treatment of multiple fractures.

The investigation revealed that the victim, who had been alone at the time of the fall, had been in the area attempting to locate routes to towers and other geological formations for future climbing expeditions. It was learned that the victim had fallen sometime between 2 and 3 pm the previous day.  He was located by his wife who had remained with the vehicle but went in search of him when he did not return.  When she located him, she rappelled to his location and was able to provide information on his medical condition and location to rescuers.

At approximately 8:00 am Wednesday morning (June 7), Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received a distress call from a lost, lone female hiker in the Brins Mesa area outside of Sedona.  The 70 year-old female from New York had hiked up the Brins Trail on Tuesday afternoon.  Before dark, she became disoriented, losing the trail.  She did not have cell service at that time.

Tired and weary, the hiker rested under a tree and fell asleep. Just after dawn, she awakened and began to walk around until she found cell service.  She called 911 reporting she was lost and was starting to become dehydrated.

Coconino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SAR) Unit responded to the Jordan Trailhead where they climbed to the top of Brins Mesa locating the female hiker.  She was rehydrated and escorted back down the trail.  She had no medical conditions and did not require further medical treatment. 

While responding to the Brins Mesa call, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received a call for a fall victim off the Mogollon Rim in the Woods Canyon area. The Sheriff’s Office Forest Lakes resident Deputy responded along with but Heber Overgaard Fire Department and Forest Lakes Fire Department

Coconino County Sheriff’s SAR coordinated with the Gila County Sheriff’s Office SAR.  The victim, a 15 year-old female from Gilbert, AZ had been in the area with a scout group.  She had been riding her bicycle along the Mogollon Rim when she crashed over the edge, falling over an approximately 25-30 feet rock cliff, landing on a ledge.  Forest Lakes Fire Department, Tonto Rim SAR, and Gila County SAR were able to climb down to the victim, render medical aid, and lift her back to the rim.  

She was medically treated and transported by Forest Lakes Fire to the Payson Hospital for a laceration to her head and possible other injuries. Further details regarding her condition are unknown.

At approximately 12:30 pm, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received a third rescue request in this same day.  A 74 year-old male hiker and his 76 year-old wife from Tucson, AZ were hiking at Veit Springs when the male collapsed several times.  Neither had a cell phone to call for help, so the female began to run on the trail back toward their vehicle.  The female came across another couple hiking the area who had a cell phone and called 911 for them. 

Coconino County Sheriff’s Deputies, SAR Unit and Guardian Ambulance responded to the trailhead.  Deputies and medics were able to drive a vehicle partway into the Veit Springs area and set out on foot to locate the male patient who was still some distance away.

Medics were able to assist and walk the patient out to a Sheriff’s vehicle which transported him to a waiting ambulance at the trailhead.  The male was transported to Flagstaff Medical Center for treatment.  His condition and status are unknown.

SAFETY REMINDERS: It is important for all outdoor recreationists to tell someone where they are going, carry the “Ten Essentials”, and use the appropriate personal protective equipment for the activities they are engaged in.

Ten Essentials

  • Water
  • Food
  • Extra warm clothing
  • Navigation equipment (map, compass, GPS)
  • Headlamp/Flashlight
  • First Aid Kit
  • Shelter Material (space blanket or large leaf bag)
  • Fire Starting Kit (use extreme caution in the dry summer months)
  • Pocket Knife or Multi-Tool
  • Whistle/Signal Mirror

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