A common denominator in these 3 rescues was a working cell phone. Remember, if you are lost in a wilderness area, remain stationary and call emergency personnel immediately. Make sure your cell phone is GPS enabled with a fully charged battery. ALWAYS bring a supply of water on any hike or wilderness drive. Stay on marked trails and avoid hiking alone. Better yet, if you are not familiar with the landscape, research your destination and do not hike/drive in areas beyond your skill level. YCSO has many great search and rescue volunteers on stand-by 24 hours a day who will be there if necessary. But prevention is the best tool to protect you from potential tragedy.
July 21, 2011 – At approximately 3:30 PM, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers were called by Frank Kraus, 65, from Phoenix who reported becoming lost on the way to Crown King from Lake Pleasant. He was driving a silver colored 2-wheel–drive Toyota Pick-Up. Kraus described several landmarks, including a sign indicating the Yavapai County boundary, in an attempt to aid his rescue. Fortunately, he had a cell phone adapter which allowed him to keep his battery charged using vehicle power. Unfortunately, technical issues with the phone prevented dispatchers from obtaining cell phone GPS coordinates. Kraus was attempting to find his way out at the time and was directed to remain stationary. The Forest Patrol supervisor arrived in the area and deployed his ATV eventually locating the stranded man around 6PM. Kraus’ wife was notified and very appreciative of the effort to find her husband before nightfall.
The road to Crown King from Lake Pleasant is only passable by high clearance 4-wheel-drive vehicles.
July 16, 2011 – Just before 4PM, YCSO dispatchers received a 911 call from 28-year-old Tempe resident Richard Hunter, explaining that he and 3 others were lost in the mountains west of Lake Pleasant. They had no water and very little food. Area temperatures were over 100 degrees. The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office Response Team, Backcountry Unit, was placed on stand-by. DPS Ranger based out of Kingman, AZ, was called and after arriving in the area around 6:45 PM, they located the subjects aided by cell phone GPS coordinates. The DPS crew landed to provide water and check for medical concerns. The group was in good condition and escorted to their vehicle.