Monday, December 7, 2009

Michigan Man Rescued from Ill-Advised Arizona Adventure

Old Siphon Draw Trail
Old Siphon Draw Trail (photo by Thee E. Aldriches)
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based on a news item from KOLD TV

A Michigan man who spent the evening of Dec 3, 2009 stranded in the Tonto National Forest of Arizona, was rescued at about 10 pm by the Pinal County Sheriff's Department. He had taken a cell phone with him, and used it properly to summon help when he found that he was trapped between two cliffs and unable to get back to the trail.

Ian Sredersas, Michigan city not indicated, went on a hike in the Lost Dutchman State Park which adjoins the Tonto National Forest. He hiked up the Old Siphon Draw Trail, which is relatively easy, but then ventured off-trail to explore some of the many nearby formations. This trek was beyond his skill level, and he realized near dark that he was not going to be able to hike out.

Pinal county's newly re-organized Search and Rescue division responded to the call at 6:10 pm that Sredersas was uninjured but lost. The 20-year-old appeared to be under a great amount of stress. Once Sredersas was located, then attention shifted to his rescue. He was flown out by the Maricopa County Aviation/Rescue Unit.

The Sheriff's report focused on the actions of his team. "Their attention to detail and skill provided critical information and coordination service to the responders in the field," commented Sheriff Paul Babeu. "This rescue was a big success for our newly organized SAR team. I am extremely proud of all the PCSO SAR Posse volunteers and employees from my office who dedicated themselves to the success of this mission."

Although it was good that the young man had his cell phone, and was able to be located, this is another story which illustrates the need to plan ahead. Know your limits, be prepared for emergencies. With even just a bit of planning the entire rescue would have been unnecessary.

See Tonto National Forest
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Eric said...

Hi! I'm happy to loan my photo here.

We get these sorts of stories all the time in Arizona. It's just not like other parts of the country; things get tricky really quickly in the desert. I constantly run into out of towners a few miles down a trail with a half-filled bottle of water asking how far it is until their done. I've often said the material you get at the trailhead (Lost Dutchman is a popular tourist spot and a good example) needs to offer a much stronger warning.

Cool blog!

Sharkbytes said...

Eric- Thanks for the comment. Your photos are beautiful and I hope a few people click through to see them. It's a real problem... so many hikers just don't go prepared with a plan or appropriate gear or anything.

Author & Adventurer Loreen Niewenhuis said...

This is good advice about knowing the trail and your limits.

-Loreen Niewenhuis.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Loreen- It's really amazing how many people just don't think about being prepared for anything.

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