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Scouts Missing - Rescued by Helicopter

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  • Scouts Missing - Rescued by Helicopter

    FOUR PEAKS, AZ - A scout troop, including two adults and six children ages 12 to 13, was found to be okay, after going missing Saturday night in the Four Peaks area.

    The Maricopa County Sheriff Office gathered a search and rescue team on Saturday night, after the troop did not return from their camping trip Saturday afternoon.

    According to MCSO, they found the troop at about 1:30 a.m. on Sunday morning.

    The troop was about a nine hour hike away from the trailhead, according to officials.

    MCSO says the troop indicated they were okay, and that they wanted to finish the hike on their own.

    But after several calls of the troop not returning home Sunday afternoon, MCSO decided to rescue all of them by helicopter.

    The troop was reunited with their family and friends.

  • #2
    Glad to see they are all ok.


    • #3
      Yah, more info:

      Six boy scouts, one of whom is the grandson of former Senate President Russell Pearce, were reunited with their families Sunday night after getting lost in the Tonto National Forest.

      The group was supposed to return Saturday afternoon.

      One mother says the scouts, ages 12 to 13-years-old, were working on their hiking merit badge when they got lost.

      The troop was rescued from the Four Peaks area of the forest. They didn't have extra food and water with them.

      Scouts Jaxon and Rigdon Merrill seemed thrilled to be back with their mother and holding Snickers bars.

      "Pretty worried, my wife was very worried," said Aaron Jones, father of a missing scout.

      The two were among six Boy Scouts and two adult scout leaders who were lost in the Tonto National Forest.

      "How did they get to that point when they couldn't make it back?" said Holli Pearce, mother of a missing scout.

      The troop left Friday evening to camp and hike 10 miles. They were supposed to return Saturday at 4 p.m.

      "They were bringing dinner for Friday, then we were to pack them breakfast and lunch for Saturday," said Pearce.

      "So we expected them back in the afternoon, 6 or 7 p.m. is when everyone got worried and called the sheriff's office," said Jones.

      The Maricopa County Sheriff's helicopter pilot found the group around 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning.

      MCSO says the pilot got a thumbs up from the troop when he asked through a PA system if they were okay.

      He says the troop waved him away when asked if they needed assistance, so he left.

      "We're calm knowing that we know from the sheriff they're safe, that the kids did give them the thumbs up, that they're safe and okay," said Kasandra Merrill, mother of two missing scouts.

      But six hours later, with still no sign of the group, worried parents starting hiking the trail to the boys and the helicopter went up again.

      This time, the pilot took the group back to the trailhead where their families were waiting.

      The boys had just run out of water.

      "The sheriff says he thought it looked like they may have gotten off the trail onto a different trail," said Jones.

      Needless to say, there hasn't been word on if the scouts ended up getting those hiking merit badges or if they'll be going on another hike.


      A group of Boy Scouts, one who is related to former state senate president Russell Pearce, was airlifted from the Four Peaks region of the Tonto National Forest Sunday evening, a full day after family members reported them missing.

      Brandon Jones, a Maricopa County Sheriffs Office spokesman, said the agency sent a search-and-rescue team to extract the six scouts and their two adult leaders Saturday morning. However, officials called the operation off after an MCSO helicopter crew made contact with the troop early Sunday morning and the group waved them off, indicating they were OK, Jones said.

      Jones said officials then gave the groups coordinates to family members who at driven to the area. Jones said the family members intentions, as Sheriff officials understood it, was to hike into the area and meet the group halfway.

      At about 2:30 p.m. Sunday, family members called again to report they had not found the group.

      Sheriffs officials again dispatched the helicopter and discovered the group had not moved from their camping site. The helicopter crew flew the troop and their leaders out in groups of four. All members were in good health, but Jones said they may have ran out of water.

      Jones said he did not understand why the group originally waved off the helicopter.

      Were definitely inquiring into why we were waved off the first time, Jones said. (But) the most important part ... was getting those kids out of there.

      Jones said the agency discovered one of the scouts is a relative of Russell Pearce, who had personally called Sunday morning about the rescue operation out of concern as any family member should be.


      • #4
        So engineer, why did ya post it?

        Slamming poor judgement by the leaders or the fact they had to be rescued.

        The group was located at 1:30 it any surprise they didn't try to walk out in the dark. I would have stayed put as well.

        Now why hadn't they packed up and headed out from their campsite sunday afternoon????? No idea.


        • #5
          I like to hear about how folks got lost because understanding that prepares you for when you're in a situation and are asking "how'd I get here?"


          • #6
            From the last reports I saw on TV last night, it sounds like the troop had left the trail.

            There was also a miscommunication with the Sheriff helicopter. (For some reason, the boys were communicating with the chopper, not the adults?) The troop assumed they were to "stay put", whereas the chopper pilot took the "thumbs" up to mean they were fine.

            By the time they came back to the troop, they were out of water, so the chopper directed them to a landing site, then ferried them out. There were no injuries.

            My wife suggested that the Sheriff choppers should carry a "drop" bundle with water and a walkie talkie for this kind of situation.

            I've never seen MCSO go out and find someone and leave them when they found them. Probably shouldn't have in this case either.


            • #7
              Why air to ground signals needs to be back in the BSHB.