CEDAR CITY — Search and rescue crews and Southern Utah University pilots found two lost snowshoers Sunday night near Brian Head using night vision technology.
The snowshoers got lost after the sun went down, university officials said in a news release, and crews from Iron County Sheriff’s Office, Iron County Search and Rescue and SUU Aviation began searching on snowmobiles and by helicopter.
"Exposed to the elements, the hikers found a cabin and turned on the grill in order to catch the attention of the helicopter pilots. The hikers were cold and exhausted, but unharmed when picked up by the SUU Aviation pilots," according to the release.
The sheriff's office said the hikers were found in a different area than where they were believed to be. The search took about 25 minutes.
School officials said that SUU pilots are sworn in as deputy sheriffs to help with aerial rescues, crime scene photography and other missions and are often called in to help by the sheriff's office.
"What we do is a community service," Mike Mower, Executive Director of SUU Aviation and chief flight instructor, said in the release.
"We don’t replace; we assist the Iron County Sheriff Search and Rescue. If any praise is given for the rescues, it’s those guys — they search all night and literally hike up and down canyons to find lost people. We come in and make a lot of noise, so the person being rescued hears us and comes out of hiding. The (Iron County Search and Rescue) are the guys doing the hard work," Mower said.