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Lost Hiker Found After Intensive Evening Search

Chiricahua National Monument

National Park News

With National Park Service employees taking the lead, 30 searchers from four agencies and the crew of an infrared-equipped helicopter searched for four-and-a-half hours on the evening of Monday, January 3rd, before rescuing an unprepared woman from below freezing temperatures and a night out in the wilderness. The 57-year-old woman left her van for a short day hike a little before noon that day. A protection ranger conducting a trailhead sweep found her van still at the trailhead at 5:30 p.m. He looked through the van’s windows and determined that it belonged to a solo hiker who would want to be back before dark. When she did not return by dark, the park launched a search. Teams of searchers from all divisions of Chiricahua began the operation and were joined by searchers from Fort Bowie, Coronado, the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Border Patrol and by a SAR helicopter from the Arizona Department of Public Safety. NPS employees found the woman around 10 p.m. She was exhausted and in the early stages of hypothermia. She told her rescuers she knew she would not have survived had they taken much longer to find her.


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