Mono SAR looks for missing hikers

saddlebaglakeSearch and Rescue Team Operation: Search for Missing Day Hikers at Saddlebag Lake  (Press Release)

On the evening of Wednesday, June 19, 2013, at approximately 8:45pm, Mono County Sheriff’s Dispatch received a call regarding overdue day hikers in the Saddlebag Lake area.

A couple hiking with their grandson, from Wooster, OH, was reported overdue by their son when they didn’t return to Bishop after their day hike to Saddlebag Lake. They had only packed a backpack with a lunch and limited supplies. They had taken the boat taxi across the lake and were expected to catch the last taxi back at the end of the day. There was concern due to the age of the couple and of the grandson. They were not dressed for overnight conditions, had no light source, no resources to make a fire, and were unfamiliar with the area.

The Mono County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SAR) team was called out to aid in the search for the missing day hikers. Eight (8) SAR team members responded to the area to begin a ground search effort. At least six (6) spontaneous volunteers, including staff from Saddlebag Lake resort, hiked in and checked the trails around the lake, leading in and out, while the SAR response was underway. There was no sign of the overdue day hikers. A check to see if their vehicle was still at the trailhead showed that the vehicle had left the area. As efforts to locate the vehicle were underway, Mono County Sheriff’s Dispatch received a call from the reporting party (the son) that the overdue hikers had in fact returned home and were safe. They had been delayed from their hike and missed the last water taxi. They had to hike around the lake and back to their vehicle but safely made it home.

Written and prepared by: Jennifer Hansen, Public Information Officer


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6 Responses to Mono SAR looks for missing hikers

  1. Wayne Deja June 22, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    Speaking of missing in the Sierras’,it was 7 years ago today that Renee Fox went missing in Mazourka Canyon after her vehicle became disabled 16 miles from Independence.Six weeks later,her body was found 11 miles from the vehicle just off the road behind some brush.

  2. Bemused June 22, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    Sounds like overreaction all the way around…

    • Daniel Weiss June 22, 2013 at 10:00 am #

      What is wrong with those older mature hikers (do they have Altzheimers?). guess who is “NOT” gonna be in charge of anything 2 do w/ anybody! Hey, Notify the authorities that you are AOK. All the manpower & energy wasted. Thank G*D everyone is safe.

      • Ken Warner June 22, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

        Right, nobody under 65 ever needs help.

        Although with so many people going into the near and back country, it would be good to have cell service go farther back into the wilderness. It would save time just by letting their phone or device be triangulated. Wouldn’t be perfect of course but better than nothing.

      • erik simpson June 22, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

        It doesn’t sound like anything was wrong with the hikers. They missed the boat, walked back to the parking lot and went home. The rest sounds more like miscommunication than anything else.

  3. Big Rick OBrien June 21, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    I missed the water taxi once, and once was enough. Saddlebag is a lot longer than it looks.


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