AZDPS Ranger helicopter crew located, rescued overdue campers

AZDPS Ranger helicopter crew located, rescued overdue campers
(Source: Arizona Department of Public Safety)
(Source: Arizona Department of Public Safety)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - An Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter, stationed in Tucson helped locate and rescue a stranded father and son over the weekend.

The AZ DPS Air Rescue Helicopter, Ranger 52, was requested for assistance on Sunday, Nov. 27 by the Gila County Sheriff's Office.  The call was to help locate a father and son who had gone camping and were reported overdue.

Ranger 52's crew responded to help in the search, and not sure where the campers were began the search near US 60 and Globe. According to a DPS release while Ranger 52 was in the air, the GCSO received a call from a hunter who reported seeing a truck near the Salt River, about 20 miles east of Roosevelt Lake.

The helicopter flew over the area and quickly found the two missing campers, who were outside their tent near the truck, they were waving to the helicopter crew.  It made a confined area landing and a trooper paramedic hiked to where the father and son were.  They determined the two were in good shape and did not need medical assistance.

According to the father, the truck slid down a hill of soft dirt and he was unable to get it back out to the road.  The two had been stranded since Friday night, and were living off the camping supplies they had brought along.

"These two did everything right and were prepared for the emergency. They had supplies available and they let others know where they were going," said Southern Air Rescue Supervisor, and pilot Hunter French. "They also made themselves visible when they became stranded."

The father and son were flown to the GCSO command post located on Forest Road 303.

AZDPS reminds everyone to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. Never hike alone, have a friend with you, expect drastic changes in weather, expect and plan for problems that will arise. Have the proper equipment available and carry plenty of food and water.

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