LOST HIKER: HAVASU NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE WILDERNESS AREA, SOUTHWEST OF NEEDLE MOUNTAIN

Published by The Bee News

August 13, 2023

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About 6:30pm Saturday (8/12) evening, the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the friend of a 33-year-old male who was lost somewhere and could not find his way back to his Nissan Frontier truck. He had driven from California to find dark skies to watch the meteor shower and at some point parked and walked away from the vehicle. He had a drone with him and flew it around, but was unable to locate his truck. He was unprepared and out of water, having signs of dehydration. He sent his friend an estimated location screenshot from the Find My Phone application on his iPhone showing his location on a map. A deputy made phone contact with him to attempt to get a better location (such as GPS coordinates) and requested that he call 911 before his cell phone battery died and stay put. Several additional calls were made and text messages were sent requesting his assistance in locating him, that went unanswered. He never called 911. The lack of his cooperation caused a delay in his rescue. Search and Rescue was activated and located his vehicle and began following his track. His direction of travel was heading to the west. Another tracking team went to the general location the lost hiker sent to his friend, but there were no signs that he had been there. Tracking teams were able to follow his track from the vehicle to his current location – about 3 miles west of his vehicle in the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge Wilderness Area. He was out of water, was severely sunburnt and only had a small light – with no other supplies. He had turned off his cell phone to conserve his battery. Rescuers gave him water and brought him back to the Command Post. Search and Rescue wants to remind everyone when recreating in the remote and rugged wilderness areas of Mohave County to: never travel alone, bring plenty of supplies, and stay put once help has been called. Great job by everyone!

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