Cellphones save the day for multiple lost hikers: None were prepared with food, water, supplies

The Yavapai County Sheriff's Department responded to three cases of lost hikers in the Sedona/Village of Oak Creek area over the past week.

According to a news release from the YCSO, all three incidents involved hikers who had cell phones, but were otherwise unprepared.

On April 4 at about 9 p.m., YCSO heard from the father of a 58-year-old California man who was hiking on Cathedral Rock in Village of Oak Creek. The father reported that his son was lost without food, water or supplies, and that his son's cellphone battery was almost dead.

YCSO were able to get the GPS coordinates from the hiker's cellphone, and the Verde Search and Rescue teams found the hiker, in good condition, just after midnight on April 5.

On April 6 at about 7 p.m., deputies responded to a call from a 44-year-old woman from Grand Canyon, who was lost and out of water while hiking near Bell Rock. Dispatchers were able to get her GPS coordinates, and woman was guided to the correct trail and arrived at the Court House Butte parking area just after 8 p.m. The deputy met her there, provided water, and gave her a ride back to her vehicle.

On April 7 at 6:45 p.m., deputies heard from a Colorado couple, 58 and 57, who were lost while hiking near Cathedral Rock. The woman had fallen in some cactus, according to the YCSO news release, and the couple was unable to find the trail and ended up near a cliff's edge.

The Verde Search and Rescue team used the GPS coordinates from the couple's cellphone call and found the lost hikers at about 9:30 p.m., escorting them to their base camp by about 11:45 p.m. No immediate medical attention was needed.

"The couple was in no way prepared for such a hike," the news release stated.

"They were out of water, took no food, and wore light clothing and tennis shoes. When the rescuers made contact, the female was shaking uncontrollably, her skin was cold, and she had a difficult time moving. One of the Verde Search and Rescue members provided extra clothing, allowing her to warm during the hike back to safety."

The news release added: "These brief rescue overviews are shared in the hope others will not repeat the same mistakes."