I highlighted key factors in this story. Day hikers would suggest they had minimal gear, but experienced would imply skills. Weather can initiate a survival situation, especially in the mountains where it can change suddenly. The SAR was initiated by a family member’s report, so their trip plan worked when they did not report in. I would be curious to know why they chose to leave their location after contacting family by phone. It seems that it must have been a calculated decision. Maybe to get better reception? Better shelter?
Mount Rainier National Park (WA)
Panhandle Gap Search Comes To Successful Conclusion
Search teams successfully located two missing day hikers in the Summerland area of the park on August 14th.
On Tuesday, August 12th, the two experienced hikers left the Summerland trailhead on the park’s east side with the intention of hiking through Summerland and Panhandle Gap, where they planned to traverse through Cowlitz Chimneys to Owyhigh. A severe storm caught them in the Chimneys, where they sheltered in place.
The next morning, following an overdue party report, a hasty search was conducted by park staff pulled from the Shadow Lake Fire. The hikers made contact with the park midday by cell phone through a family member, providing brief information before the call was lost. They moved on after reporting their location, missing park crews by four hours.
The pair backtracked to Panhandle Gap the next morning. Mountain rescue crews located them below the Gap. They were uninjured and completed the hike out to the trailhead.
Thirty people were assigned to the incident from Seattle, Tacoma, Olympic, and Everett mountain rescue teams, Central Pierce County, and park staff. Quincy Maret was incident commander.
Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)
Young Girl Dies In Fall Into Canyon
An eight-year-old California girl was killed in a fall into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone on the morning of Sunday, August 17th.
The young girl was hiking with family members along the trail to the brink of the Lower Falls when the accident occurred. About two thirds of the way down the trail toward the observation platform, she reportedly stepped off the trail, lost her footing, and fell approximately 550 feet into the canyon.
Park personnel retrieved her body around noon on Sunday.
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
Body Of Missing Hiker Found By Searchers
On the afternoon of Wednesday, August 20th, the body of missing hiker Gregory Muck was recovered in the area northwest of Mount Gardiner in Kings Canyon National Park. He is presumed to have fallen in a steep and rocky area at approximately 12,000 feet in elevation.
The cause of the accident is under investigation.
On August 10th, Muck departed on a solo hike from the Roads End area of Kings Canyon National Park. He planned to hike to Gardiner Basin via Gardiner Pass. After several days in the basin, he planned to hike out Gardiner Creek to Woods Creek Trail and return to Roads End in Cedar Grove by August 17th.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ SAR staff, supported by searchers from Yosemite SAR, Yosemite’s search dog team (YODOGs), and a helicopter from the California Highway Patrol, began a search for this 46-year-old Santa Cruz, California, man on August 18th after he was reported overdue from a backpacking trip in Kings Canyon. A total of 71 NPS staff and park partners worked on the three-day-long search.
Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Body Of Missing Concession Employee Found
Search teams from the park and Teton County Search and Rescue found the body of Aleksandr “Sasha” Sagiev, 20, of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, below Cache Couloir in Cache Gulch on Friday, August 22nd. He’d been the subject of a three-day-long search.
Sagiev, a seasonal employee of Dornan’s in Moose, Wyoming, was reported missing on the morning of Monday, August 18th. He had not been seen by coworkers since the previous afternoon.
The preliminary investigation and search focused on areas in and around Moose. New information received on Thursday afternoon indicated that Sagiev may have started a hike from Taggart Lake Trailhead around 9 a.m. on Monday. With a break in the inclement weather, an aerial search was conducted Thursday afternoon over Taggart and Delta lakes, but no sign of Sagiev was found.
Approximately 60 searchers gathered on Friday morning to explore areas where Sagiev may have hiked in the Tetons. For a second day, the weather was extremely rainy with dense clouds covering the Teton peaks.
Search teams found Sagiev’s body that afternoon in Glacier Gulch about a third of a mile west of Delta Lake. He was declared dead at the scene by the searchers in consultation with the park’s medical director. The circumstances of Sagiev’s death are still under investigation.
Sagiev was wearing the metallic blue “Sochi” jacket described in missing person flyers distributed to the public, which helped in locating his body in the rocky terrain.
Search for missing hiker – http://www.montereyherald.com/news/ci_26360398/dozen-search-and-rescue-teams-look-missing-hiker
Stranded couple rescued – http://fox13now.com/2014/08/17/search-and-rescue-crews-respond-to-couple-in-little-cottonwood-canyon/
Dehydrated hikers rescued – http://www.willcoxrangenews.com/news/article_12199054-27f1-11e4-b72e-001a4bcf887a.html
SAR underway for missing camper –http://denver.cbslocal.com/2014/08/22/search-continues-for-aspen-woman-missing-since-sunday/
Stranded climbers rescued – http://www.castanet.net/news/Kamloops/121261/Busy-day-for-search-and-rescue
Stranded hiker rescued off cliff – http://www.dailybreeze.com/general-news/20140822/man-rescued-from-san-pedro-cliff-after-slipping-near-point-fermin-park
Injured climber rescued – http://globalnews.ca/news/1523812/busy-day-for-search-and-rescue-crews-at-local-hot-spots/
Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve (AK)
Rangers Assist In Treatment Of Poisoning Victim
On the night of Tuesday, August 12th, rangers responded to a mutual aid request made by the Alaska State Troopers.
Gustavus Volunteer Fire Department’s EMS squad had responded to a 911 call regarding a 57-year-old emotionally disturbed woman who had ingested poisonous mushrooms and was refusing medical attention. The Gustavus volunteers contacted the Alaska State Troopers office to request law enforcement assistance in order to place the patient under protective custody.
Rangers responded and waited until the air ambulance flight crew arrived. They then conducted an Operational Leadership GAR assessment and executed a plan led by the flight nurse to restrain and sedate the woman in order to transport her to Juneau for further evaluation. The woman was flown to Juneau without further incident.
The park had received a ‘be on the lookout’ call from the Alaska Regional Communication Center, advising that a welfare check on her was needed. According to the center, she’d arrived in Gustavus on the Alaska state ferry.
The woman’s lifelong partner said that she did this about once a year, and had once ended up under protective custody in Madagascar. Rangers were unaware that she had been staying at a private residence.
Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)
Body Of Missing Concession Employee Found
The body of a young man missing in since the evening of Monday, August 11th, has been recovered.
Twenty-two year old Darien Latty had gone tubing Monday with friends on the Lamar River near Tower Junction. Shortly after reaching the point where the Lamar River flows into the Yellowstone River, his two companions managed to get to the river’s edge and get out of the much faster moving water. Latty was last seen being swept downstream, separated from his inner tube and without a life jacket.
Search efforts began Monday evening. At its peak, over 50 people were involved in the search, which included a helicopter, three dog teams, and several groups of searchers on foot.
Late last Friday, searchers spotted what they thought was a submerged body pinned to a large rock in a very steep and dangerous section of the Yellowstone River, about a quarter mile downstream from where Latty was last seen.
A swiftwater rescue team from Gallatin County, Montana, was called in on Saturday to navigate the river. Using kayaks and a raft anchored to both banks of the river, they were able to dislodge and recover Latty’s body on Saturday afternoon. A helicopter was utilized to remove his body from the remote area.
The corner made a positive identification Saturday evening.
Latty, who was from northeastern Georgia community of Demorest, was in Yellowstone working as a summer seasonal employee at Roosevelt Lodge. An autopsy will be conducted to confirm the cause of death.
Floating the river is prohibited by park regulations.
Lake Mead NRA – NV, AZ
Search In Progress For Missing Swimmer
Rangers are searching for a missing 31-year-old Southern California man who was last seen in the water near Cottonwood Cove on Lake Mohave.
Just after noon on Saturday, August 16th, the park received a report that the man had jumped off a boat into the water, had begun struggling, and soon disappeared underwater. Witnesses said the victim was not wearing a life jacket.
Rangers, Nevada Department of Wildlife game wardens and employees from the nearby marina immediately began searching for the missing man, who is believed to be around 100 yards from the shoreline in an area that is 80 to 100 feet deep. The water in the area is usually clear, but visibility is currently very limited due to recent storms, making the search more challenging.
Crews are continuing to search the area. The incident is under investigation.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (AZ,UT)
Teenager’s Body Recovered From Lake Powell
Park dispatch received a 911 call reporting a missing swimmer near Bullfrog Marina around mid-afternoon on Thursday, August 14th.
Rangers immediately began a boat and air search of the area, continuing until it became dark. They resumed their efforts the next morning, joined by a park dive team.
The body of the 19-year-old, a Mexican national living in the Salt Lake City area, was recovered late that morning. He is presumed to have drowned.
The incident was jointly investigated by the National Park Service and Kane County Sheriff’s Office.
Injured beachcomber rescued – http://www.comoxvalleyecho.com/news/local/cfb-comox-crews-rescue-woman-from-remote-beach-1.1322818
Missing boaters rescued – http://www.grandforksherald.com/content/night-time-mission-rescues-2-adults-and-2-children-stranded-lake
Stranded rafters rescued – http://www.svherald.com/content/derek-jordan/2014/08/24/387790