Inclement weather last week a factor in three simultaneous search and rescue events

March 20th, 2018 at 9:54 AM

On Thursday, March 15, 2018 at approximately 5:45 PM, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received three calls for service for Search and Rescue events: one involving an overdue hiker in Sedona, another involving an injured hiker with a broken ankle also in Sedona, and the third was for stranded motorists on Forest Service Road #535 south of Flagstaff.

Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to the overdue hiker with personnel from the Search and Rescue Unit. The Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue responded to assist with the search. Simultaneously, additional Coconino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue personnel responded to the West Fork Trail with Sedona Fire District personnel to rescue the injured hiker, and Coconino County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to assist the stranded motorists on Forest Service Road #535.

At approximately 7:00 PM, the overdue hiker was spotted on the trail returning to her vehicle. Deputies learned the overdue hiker became temporarily lost due to inclement weather and she did not require medical attention.

At approximately 08:45 PM, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office deputies located the stranded motorists in good condition. They transported the family of four, including two small children, to a local hotel in Flagstaff.

At approximately 9:30 PM, Coconino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue personnel assisted Sedona Fire in transporting the person reported as an injured hiker approximately three miles back to the trailhead. The injured hiker was subsequently transported to the Verde Valley Medical Center in Sedona for an ankle injury

The Sheriff’s Office thanks all of the agencies that were involved in these search and rescue efforts.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public of outdoor recreation safety messages. The sudden change in weather was a factor in these incidents. Northern Arizona is expecting additional inclement this weekend.  Remember to check the forecast for the surrounding areas before you venture on your recreational activities. Don’t rely on your cell phone alone for emergency situations.

Remember the “Ten Essentials”

  1. Extra water
  2. Extra food
  3. Extra clothing for the conditions
  4. Navigation equipment (map, compass, GPS)
  5. Headlamp/Flashlight
  6. First Aid Kit
  7. Shelter material (such as space blanket or large leaf bag)
  8. Fire starting kit (when fire danger is high be extremely careful with fire)
  9. Pocket knife / multi-tool
  10. Signaling tools (whistle/signal mirror)

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