Rescues Keep Deputies And Trsar Volunteers Busy


A woman ends her own search and rescue, a man stumbles to a helicopter rescue and a man saves himself from certain dehydration with a satellite phone.

Those were among the search and rescue calls received over the weekend, which kept rescuers busy traveling from one end of the county to the other.

The latest rescue ended Monday morning when a quad rider was found alive on the side of a dirt road leading up the Four Peaks Mountain Range.

The 31-year-old woman was traveling with a male companion Sunday afternoon when the man reportedly stopped to clear dirt from his face. The woman rode on ahead. When the man drove to catch up, he could not locate the woman anywhere along El Oso Road, which is west of Roosevelt Lake.

The man called for help about 7 p.m. and deputies from the Maricopa and Gila County Sheriff’s Offices responded along with a search helicopter.

Although they looked throughout the night, by Monday morning, rescuers could not find any sign of where the woman had gone. Tonto Rim Search and Rescue volunteers from Payson were called in around 4:30 a.m.

Just as TRSAR volunteers arrived, the woman’s male companion spotted her lying off the side of the road.

The woman had managed to crawl to the roadway after spending the night in a ravine with the wrecked ATV.

She had reportedly lost control of the ATV and driven into a large ditch.

The woman complained of pain and was airlifted to a Valley hospital.

A day earlier, the Department of Public Safety Ranger helicopter was busy on another search and rescue.

A 56-year-old man had fallen 30 feet and had been knocked unconscious in a remote part of the Sierra Ancha Mountains while canyoneering with friends.

The man was reportedly climbing down near a waterfall in Salome Canyon when he slipped and fell, hitting his head. The man was knocked unconscious and friends had to pull him from a pool of water, said Bill Pitterle, TRSAR commander.

The canyon, north of Roosevelt Lake, is a popular place for hikers to practice technical canyoneering, where ropes and climbing equipment are used to rappel down waterfalls and over cliffs.

When the man came to, his friends helped carry him through several pools to the mouth of the canyon where a helicopter could airlift him out to the trailhead.

TRSAR was put on standby in the event the helicopter could not get the man out. Luckily, volunteers did not have to make the grueling trip into the canyon.

On Friday, TRSAR volunteers were also put on standby, this time for a lost hiker.

A man hiking in the Twin Buttes area south of Pine reportedly ran out of water and called for help using his satellite phone.

The man, who had been climbing different parts of the Arizona Trail, was hiking in an extremely remote area, at least six hours from any trailhead.

When the man ran out of fluids, he decided to hike into a gully to look for water, Pitterle said.

The man left his pack on the trail and hiked down, but didn’t find any water. When the man returned to the trail, he could not find his pack.

Aware that he was out of water and far from camp, the man called for help and stayed put. A DPS helicopter airlifted him out to safety.


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