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Tue, Aug 22, 2023

Lost Hiker Found with Help from Drones

A Communal Effort

An 18-year-old hiker gone missing in North Carolina’s Crowders Mountain State Park was rescued by Gaston County police officers. park rangers, his fellow-hikers, and a number of drones.

The young man was reported missing on Wednesday, 16 August and may have spent the night in the wilderness—so infer park rangers who happened across his vehicle in the state park’s parking-lot and commenced searching immediately thereafter.

Several hikers then in Crowders Mountain State Park heard the lost lad screaming for help and reported such to searchers, who employed drones to expedite the undertaking.

Haskle Good Jr., who was among those hikers by whom the lost individual’s screams were heard, stated of his participation in the search: “It’s something your parents raised you to do. Just always do the right thing and look out for each other.”

Good, who hikes the park and the mountain therein daily, set forth he and his fellow-hikers observed rangers and police searching the wilderness; a few minutes later: “About two hills up you can hear somebody yelling, ‘Help! Water!’” Good recalled.

Good reported reaching the mountain’s top requires a climb of over one-thousand vertical-feet, and is not easily accomplished.

Police officers and park rangers praised their civilian helpers, stating the assistance rendered by Good and his compatriots dramatically narrowed a search that might otherwise have dragged on indefinitely.

A short while after the search commenced, a drone located the missing hiker in a remote area of the park, high on the mountain, far from established trails and perilously close to a thirty-to-forty-foot sheer drop.

“Pretty substantial cliff,” remarked Scott Lambert of the Gaston County Police Department. “Very, very rocky area.”

Lambert stated the lost teen was incapable of getting down from the precipice on his own, adding the drone had been indispensable to the rescue effort insofar as crews used the device to signal the rescue team by which the young man was returned to safety.

“Give the ability for EMS to see the drone images to give a patient assessment and a plan for a rescue off the mountain,” Lambert explained—albeit somewhat cryptically.

Mr. Good called those who frequent Crowders Mountain State Park a special community, stating the group’s members watch out for one another, ensuring those in need aren’t left stranded.

FMI: www.ncparks.gov/state-parks/crowders-mountain-state-park

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