LOCAL NEWS

Search And Rescue Teams Remind Hikers To Be Cautious In Backcountry

Aug 13, 2019, 8:40 PM | Updated: 8:42 pm

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah – Search and rescue teams are reminding hikers to be cautious in the Utah backcountry after two hikers had to be rescued by helicopter yesterday. There were two separate incidents in which hikers ended up in steep, dangerous, rocky terrain. The Department of Public Safety helicopter was essential to both rescues.

Early in the afternoon, the helicopter was called out to help an injured hiker at around 12,000 feet elevation in the High Uintas Wilderness Area yesterday. Shari Richins was hiking with her husband and friends on the steep slopes of Hayden Peak when a large boulder came loose and knocked her in the head.

“The people that were with her did a fantastic job of taking care of her,” said Sgt. Wyatt Weber, who clipped Shari Richins to the hoist at the end of the rope.

“She was in good spirits,” he said. “She was talking to me. She was excited to get out of there. But, she was doing all right.”

The group was lucky to get a cell phone call out.

On the phone today, Richins said she’s grateful, but feeling sore, and has a wound on her head from the rock.

Right after that hoist mission, Salt Lake County needed helicopter help with a lost hiker near Lake Blanche.

“So, we headed straight over there, and started searching for that guy,” said Weber.

A woman and her 61-year-old father, with dementia, got separated near the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon.

“He had wandered off the trail,“ said Sgt. James Blanton, with the Unified Police Department Canyon Patrol.

When the man was first spotted by a rescue team member on the ground he was on a steep slope with loose rock.

“He had no food,” said Blanton. “No water, very limited clothing. He was not wearing the appropriate hiking shoes.”

Ground crews hiked in from two different trailheads, while the helicopter shuttled 10 searchers up into the area, saving critical time.

“Once they got to him, search and rescue members secured him, and hiked him back over to a landing zone,“ said Blanton.

They airlifted him out of the area in good condition.

“We were very lucky to get to him before nightfall,“ said Blanton.

A busy day for the aero bureau?

“We have days like that all the time,“ said Weber.

He said, the state helicopter flies 300 missions a year, about 60 are hoist rescues.

“A couple of weeks ago, we ended up hoisting five people in the middle of the night,“ he said. That included two separate incidents.

The most important piece of advice he has to share with hikers:

“When you’re in trouble, don’t hesitate to call for help,” said Weber.

Don’t wait until it’s too late.

“Call early instead of having us come in and hoist somebody that’s badly injured or worse.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

...
Mike Anderson and Annie Knox, KSL TV

Watch: Newly released video at center of push to tighten Utah bear chasing rules

Videos of a bear collapsing after being chased by dogs helped build the criminal cases against two houndsmen. Now a prosecutor is releasing them as part of a push to limit how and when hounds can be used to track down Utah’s black bears.
1 day ago
The suspected crashed car in a brick wall in Millcreek. (Courtesy: Serena Chavez)...
Michael Houck

Suspects in traffic stop crash into wall, police say

Two people are in custody after fleeing from police and crashing into a wall Wednesday evening.
1 day ago
(University of Utah)...
Eliza Pace

Cameras found in bathrooms at U of U student life center, suspect in custody

University Police took a suspect into custody after they found two cameras in different bathrooms at the University of Utah Student Life Center.
1 day ago
[FILE] Jail Handcuffs (KSL-TV)...
Michael Houck

Utah man pleads guilty to child pornography charges in Virginia

A Cedar City man has pleaded guilty to child pornography charges after sending explicit videos to an undercover FBI agent in Virginia.
1 day ago
(Millcreek City)...
Eliza Pace

Millcreek opens Utah’s largest outdoor skating rink

To kick off the opening, Millcreek is hosting its first annual Magic Ice Show on Dec. 1, 2, & 3 at Millcreek Commons, 1354 E Chambers Ave, Millcreek.
1 day ago
...
HUGO RIKARD-BELL, KSL NewsRadio

Former American Fork soccer coach arrested on charges of child sexual abuse

A 47-year-old former soccer coach in American Fork is in jail and facing multiple counts of felony sexual abuse of a child.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Search And Rescue Teams Remind Hikers To Be Cautious In Backcountry