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Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Busy 48 Hours

Sedona AZ (June 8, 2017)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 which involved the response of numerous resources.

On June 6, 2017, at approximately 8:00 a.m., the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a fall victim in the area of Twentynine Mile Canyon, 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 with deputies from the CCSO Page District responding 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. The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office continued coordinating this rescue effort as National Park resources were unavailable.

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

An investigation revealed that the hiker had been alone at the time of the fall. He was in the area attempting to locate routes to towers and other geological formations for future climbing expeditions and had fallen sometime between 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. the previous day. His wife, who had remained with the vehicle, went in search of him after he failed to return as planned. When she finally located him, she rappelled to his location and was able to provide information on his medical condition and location to rescuers.

Arizona Search and Rescue team

At approximately 8:00 a.m. 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 woman 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 and reported being lost and beginning 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 and found the hiker. She was rehydrated and escorted back down the trail.  She had no medical conditions and did not require further medical treatment.

Rescue 1 helicopter on scene at a Mingus Mountain search

While responding to the Brins Mesa call, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received a call reporting a fall victim off the Mogollon Rim in the Woods Canyon area. The Sheriff’s Office Forest Lakes Resident Deputy responded, along with the Heber Overgaard Fire Department and the Forest Lakes Fire Department. The Coconino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue coordinated with the Gila County Sheriff’s Office SAR.

The victim, a 15 year-old girl 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 before 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.

This same day, at approximately 12:30 p.m., CCSO received a third rescue request. A 74 year-old man and his 76 year-old wife from Tucson, AZ were hiking at Veit Springs when the husband collapsed several times. Neither had a cell phone to call for help, so the woman began to run back toward their vehicle. She came across another couple hiking the area who called 911 on her behalf to request help.

Air rescues are often required in Arizona’s rugged terrains.

CCSO Deputies, SAR Unit and Guardian Ambulance responded to the trailhead. Deputies and medics were able to drive a vehicle part of the way into the Veit Springs area and then set out on foot to locate the man 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. He 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 (below) and use the appropriate protective equipment for activities they undertake:

Ten Essentials

  1. Water
  2. Food
  3. Extra warm clothing
  4. Navigation equipment (map, compass, GPS)
  5. Headlamp/Flashlight
  6. First Aid Kit
  7. Shelter Material (space blanket or large leaf bag)
  8. Fire Starting Kit (use extreme caution in the dry summer months)
  9. Pocket Knife or Multi-Tool
  10. Whistle/Signal Mirror.

Remember, it is officially monsoon season and one must be aware of the weather. Be aware and be safe out there.

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