IRON COUNTY – Two 18-year-old boys reported by parents at 1:45 a.m. Thursday as being overdue on their return home were found early Thursday morning thanks to the hard work of Iron County Search and Rescue volunteers and Iron County Sheriff’s deputies.
The call came in to Iron County Dispatch at about 1:45 a.m., Iron County Sheriff’s Lt. Del Schlosser said. The parents were concerned, he said, because the boys had left at about 5 p.m. Wednesday, saying they would only be a few hours, and it was well past midnight by that point.
Though the parents reported that the boys were supposed to be in the Shirt Canyon area that resides south of Cedar City, Schlosser said, rescuers found them on Cedar Mountain in the Webster’s Flat region. Webster’s Flat is east of Cedar City.
Iron County SAR volunteer Buck Neagle said the young men had been picked up by friends and were on their way out of Webster’s Flat when he came across them at 4:15 a.m. Thursday. The UV joint on the truck they were driving had broken and they had to leave it behind. Both young men appeared to be safe and refused medical treatment, Schlosser said. The truck’s heater still worked even though the vehicle had malfunctioned so hypothermia was not an issue.
According to the incident reports, Schlosser said, the truck was towed out of their location by search and rescue volunteers with a tow rope. The boys were then sent home with their friends to return to their parents. (See ed. note)
Naegle said there were no drugs or alcohol involved in this incident, and the young men were very smart about how they handled the situation they were in.
“They weren’t doing anything wrong,” he said. “They had all of the right ideas and the right plan, and I admire them for telling their buddies, ‘Hey, if we’re not back by a certain time, come get us.’”
Naegle said it is important to always let someone know where you will be and when you are expected to be home, just in case something happens. A small survival kit should be kept in the car with water, blankets and other necessities as well, he said. (See ed. note)
“This just goes to show the dedication of our search and rescue members,” Schlosser said. “When there’s a call, they don’t hesitate to go.”
Schlosser said he was unsure of exactly how many volunteers were searching for the two young men in the cold, damp weather in the middle of the night for hours, but the fact that the boys were found – and so far away from where they were supposed to be – is a testament to the caliber of volunteers that work with the department.
“They get together and make a plan of who’s going where, and then they just go out there and start looking,” he said. “It all goes back to their dedication, and then too, them knowing the area, our search and rescue members know the area and they do a good job of knowing where to search.”
Ed. note: Additions/clarifications made per additional conversation with Iron County Search and Rescue.
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