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Hikers urged to be prepared following late-night rescue

By Nicole Vowell and Mary Richards, | Posted - Aug 28th, 2014 @ 9:47am

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SALT LAKE CITY — A search and rescue operation for an injured hiker took longer than it should have because the hiker was not as prepared as she should have been, police said.

The 26-year-old woman went for an evening hike in Red Butte Canyon, according to Lt. Justin Hoyal of the Unified Police Department. She fell and injured her ankle, then called 911 for help around 10 p.m. However, her cell phone lost power before she could tell emergency crews her location.

Crews had trouble locating the woman and finally found her and the person she was hiking with in the George’s Hollow area around 1:30 a.m.

Hoyal said a working cell phone would have speeded up the search and rescue process. He urged hikers to be prepared.

"The mountains are a great place to come and hike, recreate, but there's always some safety factors to take into consideration," he said. “We don’t know all the equipment these individuals had, but we do know they had a flashlight, so they were somewhat prepared for the darkness,.

He said August is usually one of the most popular months for hiking, but weather-wise, it's also a bit more dangerous. The grounds are usually wetter in August than earlier in the summer, temperatures are cooler, and sometimes snow has already fallen in mountain areas.

Hoyal said always be prepared by bringing a flashlight, extra water and a fully charged cell phone.


Nicole Vowell
Mary Richards

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