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Flagstaff, AZ – The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit has responded to four incidents over the past week. Search and Rescue also would like to remind outdoor users to carry the 10 Essentials.
The first began on the morning of October 23 when Search and Rescue was requested to assist with a search for a 22-year-old male subject from Georgia. The man had called his girlfriend and stated that he had been involved in a vehicle accident in the area of Welch Road west of Williams and had been wandering around the woods trying to find a road. That subject, Matthew Pearce, was fleeing Georgia after a probation violation warrant was issued for his arrest. Search and Rescue assisted in coordinating a search for Pearce using deputies from both Coconino and Yavapai counties, small unmanned aerial systems, the Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue Unit, and Search and Rescue volunteers from Coconino County who searched on foot, via horseback, and used search dogs. Pearce was located in good condition on the morning of October 26th. He was taken into custody for the arrest warrant and booked into the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Detention Facility.
On October 23 at approximately 3:20 pm the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit responded with Summit Fire District and Guardian Medical Transport to an injured hiker at approximately 11,000 feet elevation on the Humphrey’s Peak Trail. Responders were assisted by Arizona Snowbowl personnel and their UTV to transport rescuers. The 57-year-old female from California was located at approximately 5:30 pm and her leg injury was stabilized, and she was carried in a litter with a litter wheel to a waiting search and rescue UTV parked inside the Arizona Snowbowl ski area. She was then driven to a waiting ambulance at Agassiz Lodge parking lot. The hiker was transported to Flagstaff Medical Center for treatment of her injuries.
On the afternoon of October 28, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue responded along with Highlands Fire District, Flagstaff Fire Department, and Guardian Medical Transport to a climbing accident at the Pit climbing area which is accessible from the Canyon Vista Campground on Lake Mary Road. A 23-year-old male from Flagstaff fell approximately 40 feet while lead climbing. The climber sustained injuries to his back. Rescuers secured the climber in a litter and lowered him to the canyon floor and then carried him out to the campground to a waiting ambulance for transport to Flagstaff Medical Center.
At approximately 8:00 pm on October 28 the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue responded to a report of an overdue subject in the Cinder Lakes area. The 62-year-old transient male was reported overdue from a walk. He had last been seen at approximately 1:30 pm. The subject had sent some SOS emails to a companion, but he was not found at the locations indicated on the emails. After sending the emails it appeared that his phone had run out of battery power. A search was initiated with search and rescue personnel, deputies, and the Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue Unit. The subject was located at approximately 2:00 am on October 29 after he made contact with his companion by phone and was instructed to call 911. He was located off road in the Cinder Lakes area approximately 3 miles south east of his camp. He was cold, but in otherwise good condition. He was reunited with his companion at their camp.
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.
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