WASHINGTON COUNTY — A 43-year-old Arizona man was found almost three hours after he called for help when the frame of his bike broke while mountain biking on the Little Creek Mountain trail, about 18 miles east of Hurricane, Tuesday evening.
At 5:10 p.m., a man, who went mountain biking and expected to be back before dark, broke the frame on his bike and called for help as he was unable to ride his bike back out from the trail, Deputy Darrell Cashin, Search and Rescue Commander with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, said.
Cashin and the Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team responded by using the coordinates that the lost mountain biker had on his cellphone.
“Deputies took awhile to find him,” Cashin said. “The coordinates were not accurate. I’m not sure what kind of cellphone he had, but pre-paid phones can be inaccurate by about 4,000 meters, which is over a mile.”
With the inaccurate coordinates, and the fact that the mountain biker moved about one-half mile after he called for help, it took rescuers until about 8 p.m. to find him, Cashin said.
“He was not prepared to be out after dark, but once his bike frame broke, he was unable to get back in time,” he said “He was lucky he had cellphone service to call. He is from Arizona so he didn’t know the trails and got lost.”
The mountain biker was found without injuries, Cashin said. He was glad for the man’s safety although he was unprepared for being out after dark.
Cashin gave some precautions to anyone who hikes or bikes and may unintentionally find themselves in a situation to need Search and Rescue’s assistance.
- Keep water and food, like granola bars available
- Wear warm clothes, especially as it starts to get cold quickly
- Have a headlamp or flashlight as a light source, these can be cheap purchases at any convenience store
- Keep cellphone charged for use in case of an emergency and do no use it as a source for light
- When calling for help, stay in the same spot unless you’re in danger so responders can find you quickly
“Be prepared for the unexpected,” he said. “Things, like a broken bike, do happen.”
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