Cochise County Search and Rescue volunteers, along with Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopters, responded to two incidents of lost hikers in Cochise County in recent days.
Shortly before 8 a.m. on Tuesday, the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office was advised of three people who had gotten lost and were without water after hiking for a couple of days in the Dragoon Mountains.
The woman, who was hiking with her fiance and another man, told the sheriff’s office that they had been without water for 24 hours and that they could see a house in the distance and were going to attempt to reach it, according to Carol Capas, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.
Search and Rescue volunteers and a DPS Ranger helicopter from Tucson dispatched to the area when, at about 9 a.m., the woman called back to inform them they had reached Willow Springs Road and found a cabin with two vehicles present.
The hikers were soon located, found to be severely dehydrated, and transported by Sunsites Fire Department medics to the Northern Cochise Community Hospital in Willcox, where they were treated and released about 12 hours later, Capas said.
The second incident occurred at 6:44 a.m. Wednesday, when a husband and wife and their 8-year-old daughter had gotten lost while horseback riding in the Chiricahua Mountains.
The three had embarked on the ride the previous day, but could not follow the trails on their map due to the fires and flooding of the area in recent years.
With the riders low water for both themselves and their horses, and a cell phone battery about die, the sheriff’s office was able to obtain their GPS coordinates from the phone and dispatch several Search and Rescue volunteers as well as the DPS Ranger Helicopters from Tucson and Phoenix.
The family was soon located and the mother and daughter were airlifted from the scene and transported to the nearby Sunglow Ranch where they refused medical treatment. The helicopters also lowered water down to the husband for himself and the horses, while Search and Rescue volunteers hiked to the scene to lead them back out of the mountains.