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The original item was published from 10/24/2017 2:38:08 PM to 11/8/2017 12:05:01 AM.

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Sheriff's Office

Posted on: October 24, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Air 1 Locates Lost Hiker, Citizen Assists Deputies & Park Ranger to Location


Air 1 Locates Lost Hiker, Citizen Assists Deputies & Park Ranger to Location


Yesterday evening, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office helicopter Air 1 successfully located a lost hiker in the Iller Creek Conservation Area.  Air 1, with the assistance of a Good Samaritan from the area, guided Spokane County Park Ranger Bryant Robinson to the lost hiker’s location.  


On October 23, 2017, just prior to 5:00 p.m., a lost hiker called 911 for help.  The 19-year-old stated she began hiking at the Iller Creek Trailhead and was now lost as it began to get dark.  She had her cell phone, water and enough warm clothes but did not know her exact location or how to get back to her vehicle.  She was told to stay at her location and rescue crews were on the way.

Deputies responded to the area to assist, along with Spokane County Park Ranger Bryant Robinson and an Air 1 Flight Crew consisting of Volunteer Pilot Dave Cummings and Tactical Flight Officers Deputy Louis Acosta and Deputy Dan Knight. 

Spokane County Dispatch (Communications Officers) were able to “ping” the hiker’s cell phone to get GPS coordinates to narrow the search area. 

Once overhead, Air 1 began checking the now dark wooded area using the helicopter’s FLIR camera and Night Vision Goggles (NVG).  The hiker was instructed to hold the lit screen of her cell phone toward the sky and Deputy Knight, using the NVGs, instantly spotted her phone. 

Park Ranger Robinson arrived with his ATV and began to coordinate with deputies.  They were contacted by a citizen who explained he knew the area well, had observed Air 1, and asked if he could help.  The citizen provided the location of an obscure road which might lead to the hiker’s location and Air 1 confirm his belief. 

Park Ranger Robinson and the citizen rode their ATV’s to the hiker as Air 1 stayed overhead. 

The hiker was not injured and she was provided a ride back to her vehicle. 

Thankfully, the hiker was prepared to be out in the wilderness and, even though she was alone, she had her cell phone to call for help.  She followed the instructions of dispatchers/rescuers and was quickly located by Air 1.  With the assistance of a Good Samaritan, a planned route was quickly located and the hiker was recovered.  This is a wonderful example of a citizen working with law enforcement using specialized equipment to quickly and efficiently locate a lost hiker and provide her the help she needed.     

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