IVINS – Two lost hikers made it safely out of Snow Canyon State Park Friday night with the help of volunteers from the Washington County Search and Rescue team.
Just before 7 p.m., family members called 911 after receiving a distressed phone call from the hikers. A dispatcher was then able to call the hikers, who had a cellphone with them, and GPS coordinates were obtained via their cellphone, Washington County Sheriff ‘s Sgt. Brock Bentley said.
The hikers, a man and a 17-year-old boy, had not been prepared for hiking in the dark when they departed on their hike – they didn’t have flashlights or other equipment, as it was daylight when they left – and they became stranded when night fell, Bentley said.
“Those trails in Snow Canyon are pretty cut and dry when it comes to being out there during the day,” he said, “but at night, they’re pretty easy to lose.”
“(The hikers) were smart enough to make a phone call and just stay put so we could get right to them,” Bentley added.
Bentley initially responded to the scene, but since it was after dark and because of where the hikers were, Search and Rescue team members were called in, in accordance with the Sheriff’s Office policy in such situations.
“We had two (deputies) en route, but when I got there and ascertained what was going on, I called Search and Rescue and they came out and they took it from there,” Bentley said.
Search and Rescue responders followed the Whiptail Trail to reach the hikers. A ravine separated them from the hikers, so they had a bit of a trek getting there, Bentley said. It took about two hours for the responders to reach the hikers and lead them safely out.
“No injuries. No medical issues at all,” Bentley said. “It was just getting to them and helping them follow the trail back out.”
An extension of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Search and Rescue works in accordance with the Sheriff’s Office in responding to rescue situations but is an all-volunteer team. Search and Rescue responders are not paid and generally supply their own equipment when going out on rescue calls. Members have specialized training, expertise and equipment that enable them to provide services other agencies can’t.
“Search and Rescue is fantastic,” Bentley said.
“We’re glad to have them,” he added. “They make our job so much easier.”
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
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