Information provided by members of the Yavapai County Search and Rescue Team – Thank You.
Wickenburg area Rescue -- The Southern Unit of the Yavapai County Search and Rescue Team (YCSRT), responded to a call for help Tuesday, February 6, 2019, to locate and rescue a couple from Cottonwood who had become stranded with a broken Utility Vehicle (UTV) in the desert north of Wickenburg.
The couple, camping in Calamity Wash off Constellation Road, had headed out in late afternoon to enjoy the desert near Sophie's Flat. With no maps or navigation tools, the pair had lost their way. They asked some passers-by for directions but took a wrong turn and headed deeper into the rugged terrain as the sun began to set.
Topping a ridge, they stopped and got out in an attempt to find their bearings. When they decided to proceed and climbed back into the UTV, it would not start. Now stranded as it was growing darker and colder, they decided to start a warming fire and called 911.
The call to 911 allowed YCSO dispatchers to obtain their cell phone's location via GPS coordinates. As this time, the SYCSRT was called out. A "hasty" team of two 4x4 trucks were sent to the location which was high atop the ridge south of the "box" of the Hassayampa River and overlooking Dinosaur Wash. Nearby, a team with another UTV stood by if needed. Rescue teams maintained phone contact with the pair throughout.
Just after 9:30 PM, the couple was found. As rescuer’s approached, the couple tried to put out the fire but instead ignited their spare fuel container and the fire spread. Luckily, recent rains and a lack of wind kept the flames from reaching nearby vegetation, and SYCSRT members helped the couple extinguish the flames.
SYCSRT transported the couple safely back to their camp along with an anxious pair of dogs. A one-hour afternoon trip had become a late-night ordeal.
Patrick Brown, SYCSRT unit manager, reminds outdoor users to always make sure they know their route, carry maps and adequate water, have fully charged phones, supplies and clothing, travel in numbers when possible, and ALWAYS leave word with a responsible party as to destination and timeline.
SYCSRT, based in Wickenburg, is looking for more volunteers. All are welcome to apply. For more information, please call (928)231-1034 or visit www.ycsrt.org.
Rescue from Turkey Creek - The YCSRT 4x4 Unit received a call from a YCSO Forest Patrol Deputy on the late afternoon of February 7, 2019, requesting 4x4 Unit resources to make their way to a stranded Jeep in the Turkey Creek area, west of I17 south of Cleator.
Seven personnel in four vehicles worked a two-pronged strategy to try and make their way to the vehicle and it's two occupants. Despite the dark conditions, cold temperatures and wet/unmarked trails, the team finally made it to the subjects where they found a Jeep Wrangler with its front end buried in the heavily flowing Turkey Creek. The team, under the direction of the Forest Patrol Deputy, quickly assessed the situation and determined that the best course of action was to use a tow strap and pull the vehicle from the river. Once free, the very grateful subjects were able to make it back to the highway in their own vehicle and safely return home.
All resources safely returned to Prescott area around 2 am the following day.
As Sheriff Mascher noted during the recent all volunteer recognition at the Elks Theatre in Prescott, “The Sheriff’s Office is honored by the work and dedication of all our rescue volunteers who are willing to put their own safety at risk to save a stranger.”