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#32360 - 07/24/13 11:56 PM Four Female Hikers Missing 20 Miles Northeast of Huntington
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2235
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
The Fresno County Sheriff's Office is currently involved in the search for four women near Lake Italy, approximately 20 miles northeast of Huntington Lake.

Details from ABC 30.
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Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

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#32370 - 07/25/13 11:24 AM Re: Four Female Hikers Missing 20 Miles Northeast of Huntington [Re: wagga]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7478
Loc: Fresno, CA
Such a telling report:

Part 1: "Last night, shortly after 9:00pm, the Sheriff's Office received a 911 cell phone call from one of the hikers who advised that she, her mother, and two other females lost their sense of direction due to thick smoke from the Aspen Creek fire.

The phone call continued to drop but, with the use of the phones GPS, dispatch personnel were able to get an approximate location on the John Muir Trail between Lake Italy and Bear Creek.

...SAR personnel are currently being deployed into the area to search for the hikers.
"


Part 2: " In the second incident, at about 10:00am, the Sheriff's Office received a report of a GPS emergency "spot activation" in the area of Lake Virginia, approximately 10 miles north of Lake Edison in northeastern Fresno County.

The Sheriff's Office learned that a father and son were hiking in the area when the father started having serious medical issues.

H40 responded and was able to extract the ill hiker.
"

In part 1, they're out looking for missing hikers. In part 2, due to a SPOT, the problem is already resolved.

Seems pretty clear to me how much better it is to hike with a SPOT.

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#32371 - 07/25/13 11:49 AM Re: Four Female Hikers Missing 20 Miles Northeast of Huntington [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7478
Loc: Fresno, CA
And that reminds me of the time I was hiking the JMT just S of Reds Meadow. We erroneously followed a horse-made trail that wasn't on the map, where it exited the JMT near Red Cones. We came upon really old jmt trail markers, and then junctions that did not identify the JMT. Not knowing which trail to follow, I guessed (wrongly), and started off on a trail that curved around in the wrong direction. Here's the spot on the map. (small cross-hairs in the center)

I had my SPOT and cell service, so called my son in Michigan, who looked up my signal, told me where I was on the map, which got us going in the correct direction. I found the write-up from 2010: Lost on the JMT: Reds Meadow southbound

I suppose if I'd had a hand-held GPS unit with a map of the JMT, that would have helped me out, too. But not having those, and with the equipment we did have, we were back on track in a short time.

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#32382 - 07/25/13 06:06 PM Re: Four Female Hikers Missing 20 Miles Northeast of Huntington [Re: Steve C]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2235
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Update:

2:18 p.m.: "The Fresno County Sheriff's Office has suspended its search for four women hiking near Lake Italy in the Sierra Nevada.

Hikers who had talked to the women on the John Muir Trail near Silver Pass told search and rescue crews Wednesday night that the women were all in good condition and had resumed hiking north to their destination in Tuolumne County, the sheriff's office said Thursday.

The women told the hikers of their call to the sheriff's office when they became disoriented due to smoke from the Aspen Fire, which has now blackened 2,500 acres northwest of Huntington Lake.

Search and rescue crews have been pulled from the area and the women's families have been notified, the sheriff's office said.
"
_________________________
Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

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#32384 - 07/25/13 08:18 PM Re: Four Female Hikers Missing 20 Miles Northeast of Huntington [Re: wagga]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1553
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Originally Posted By: wagga
Update:

2:18 p.m.: "The Fresno County Sheriff's Office has suspended its search for four women hiking near Lake Italy in the Sierra Nevada.

Hikers who had talked to the women on the John Muir Trail near Silver Pass told search and rescue crews Wednesday night that the women were all in good condition and had resumed hiking north to their destination in Tuolumne County, the sheriff's office said Thursday.

The women told the hikers of their call to the sheriff's office when they became disoriented due to smoke from the Aspen Fire, which has now blackened 2,500 acres northwest of Huntington Lake.

Search and rescue crews have been pulled from the area and the women's families have been notified, the sheriff's office said.
"


Oh. Well. Alrighty, then. Never mind.
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Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#32388 - 07/25/13 09:48 PM Re: Four Female Hikers Missing 20 Miles Northeast of Huntington [Re: saltydog]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Much adieu about...nothing? Sally forth!

Is there not some sort of protocol about cancelling a "help I'm lost" mayday call to SAR?
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#32392 - 07/25/13 10:16 PM Re: Four Female Hikers Missing 20 Miles Northeast of Huntington [Re: Bee]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7478
Loc: Fresno, CA
> Is there not some sort of protocol about cancelling a "help I'm lost" mayday call to SAR?

Not to beat the dead horse, but SPOT has a "Cancel 911" and "OK Check-in" button that could normally indicate that.

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#32399 - 07/26/13 09:29 AM Re: Four Female Hikers Missing 20 Miles Northeast of Huntington [Re: Steve C]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1251
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
They called on a cell phone, not a SPOT...at least that is what gleaned for the report. These four women are responsible to call back to say they are found...or walk out and contact authorities, period. There is only one word continuing up the trail behavior...narcissistic.

SAR call outs cost money, to the tune of close to $500,000 for the idiots in OC, earlier this year. This does not include the lost wages of the volunteers who answer these call outs.

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#32411 - 07/26/13 04:25 PM Re: Four Female Hikers Missing 20 Miles Northeast of Huntington [Re: Steve C]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 342
Loc: Reno, Nevada
If you send an SOS message on a SPOT and want to cancel it, you have to press SOS and hold it until the SOS light blinks red to send a “Cancel SOS” message. Leave SPOT on until the SOS light stops blinking red to make sure your message got out. Turning off a SPOT or sending “Check-in/OK” won’t send anything to the authorities.

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#32421 - 07/26/13 10:15 PM Re: Four Female Hikers Missing 20 Miles Northeast of Huntington [Re: bobpickering]
dbd Offline


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 205
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: bobpickering
If you send an SOS message on a SPOT and want to cancel it, ...


Do you think the responsible sheriff would call off the SAR and go away with no other explanation than a Spot "Cancel SOS" message? Do you think he should? Do you think people with Spots should expect that? Do you think they will expect that? YMMV

Dale B. Dalrymple

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#32424 - 07/26/13 10:25 PM Re: Four Female Hikers Missing 20 Miles Northeast of Huntington [Re: dbd]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: dbd
YMMV


Translate, please (I do not text, so I am unfamiliar with new, abbreviated form of english)
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#32430 - 07/27/13 12:08 AM Re: Four Female Hikers Missing 20 Miles Northeast of Huntington [Re: dbd]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7478
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: dbd
Originally Posted By: bobpickering
If you send an SOS message on a SPOT and want to cancel it, ...
Do you think the responsible sheriff would call off the SAR and go away with no other explanation than a Spot "Cancel SOS" message? Do you think he should? Do you think people with Spots should expect that? Do you think they will expect that? YMMV

Bee, "YMMV" means "Your mileage may vary". Comes originally from the gas mileage figures on new cars. We all know most people get lower mileage than the car makers' numbers.

DBD, a responsible sheriff would likely want to contact the SPOT carrier, that is for sure. But I would think that after receiving a Cancel SOS signal, plus maybe seeing the carrier signal an OK-Check-in, and then show some more signals indicating they were on the move, a reasonable command center would call off the troops, and maybe send a single person to meet and make contact.

I would also consider the SPOT carrier pretty irresponsible if they continued on their merry way and did not attempt to get to a location where full contact could be made to explain the reason for the SOS and the Cancel.

But as with your "YMMV" thought, we all know there are responsible people and ....not so responsible people.

BTW (By the way), that "Aspen Fire" on this side of the Sierra is the fire that caused the hikers (topic of this thread) to become disoriented. This afternoon from Fresno, we could see the plume of smoke, and it had created a huge thunderhead cloud above, from all the moisture released. Checking the web cam picture sequences today, the smoke in the Owens Valley is so bad, I feel sorry for anyone hiking Whitney today. I am sure they had a memorable (Negative) experience from all the smoke.

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#32431 - 07/27/13 12:11 AM Re: Four Female Hikers Missing 20 Miles Northeast of Huntington [Re: dbd]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 342
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Originally Posted By: dbd
Originally Posted By: bobpickering
If you send an SOS message on a SPOT and want to cancel it, ...


Do you think the responsible sheriff would call off the SAR and go away with no other explanation than a Spot "Cancel SOS" message? Do you think he should? Do you think people with Spots should expect that? Do you think they will expect that? YMMV

Dale B. Dalrymple

I don’t understand the point of your questions… or the YMMV gibberish.

If someone sends a SPOT SOS, and later decided that no rescue is necessary, the right thing to do is send a “Cancel SOS.” Turning it off or sending “Check-in/OK” isn’t the answer. This is true, regardless of the circumstances of the original SOS message and the decision to cancel it. This is also true, regardless of what anyone thinks the authorities will do when they receive the “Cancel SOS” message.

I doubt that “the responsible sheriff would call off the SAR and go away with no other explanation than a Spot Cancel SOS”, but I’ll bet they would scale back their SAR efforts, take fewer risks with their SAR personnel, and leave their helicopters on the ground. However, my original post is correct, regardless of what the sheriff decides to do.

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#32441 - 07/27/13 11:53 AM Re: Four Female Hikers Missing 20 Miles Northeast of Huntington [Re: bobpickering]
dbd Offline


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 205
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: bobpickering

I don’t understand the point of your questions… or the YMMV gibberish.
...
However, my original post is correct, regardless of what the sheriff decides to do.


If your original post is correct and complete, then the proper response by a SOS signaler who wants to cancel the call is to press the right buttons on the Spot and walk away as if nothing has happened. I think that the consequences of making a SOS call are great enough in cost and risk to responders that the caller is responsible for a better response than walking away as if nothing had happened. From your response to my post, your 'mileage' on this is clearly different than mine.

Dale B. Dalrymple

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#32443 - 07/27/13 03:23 PM Re: Four Female Hikers Missing 20 Miles Northeast of Huntington [Re: dbd]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1553
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
I have to wonder how this thread got so caught up with the hypothetical SPOT issue. What about the actual issue the facts here raise: these 4 hikers called 911, FROM THE JMT, initiated SAR, boots on the ground and chopper in the air, then got themselves straightened out, went on their merry way and made no more effort than to mention it to other passing hikers.

Discuss.
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#32444 - 07/27/13 06:17 PM Re: Four Female Hikers Missing 20 Miles Northeast of Huntington [Re: saltydog]
wbtravis Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1251
Loc: Corner of Jack Benny and Roche...
Salty Dog...Bingo!!! That was the reason for my last post. The father and son who were rescued by SAR had the SPOT, not the four women.

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#32445 - 07/27/13 06:28 PM Re: Four Female Hikers Missing 20 Miles Northeast of Huntington [Re: saltydog]
dbd Offline


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 205
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: saltydog
I have to wonder how this thread got so caught up with the hypothetical SPOT issue. What about the actual issue the facts here raise: these 4 hikers called 911, FROM THE JMT, initiated SAR, boots on the ground and chopper in the air, then got themselves straightened out, went on their merry way and made no more effort than to mention it to other passing hikers.

Discuss.


The issue is the same with Spot or cell phone or satellite phone. Pushing the right buttons to send a "nevermind" signal doesn't take away the responsibility that should have been there from the beginning

Dale B. Dalrymple

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#32448 - 07/27/13 07:20 PM Re: Four Female Hikers Missing 20 Miles Northeast of Huntington [Re: dbd]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7478
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: dbd
The issue is the same with Spot or cell phone or satellite phone. Pushing the right buttons to send a "nevermind" signal doesn't take away the responsibility that should have been there from the beginning

DBD, All I read in bobpickering's post was instructions on how to actually make a SPOT issue a Cancel-SOS signal. He didn't offer any opinion whether that was all one needed to do, or whether more was required. Leaving out any opinion is not supporting the idea of walking off without contacting the authorities.

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#32449 - 07/27/13 09:52 PM Re: Four Female Hikers Missing 20 Miles Northeast of Huntington [Re: Steve C]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1128
Loc: NorCal
Bit of a side track about what SPOT might have done for these ladies. I think we all agree, these four women should have done everything possible to make sure the SAR mission was called off as soon as possible. It's possible they didn't have cell coverage after they made the first call for help. It's also possible that they called 911 again as soon as they could, but other hikers got the word out first (seems unlikely). Climbing a peak to get service was probably not a good idea with all the smoke around. We just don't know how much effort they put into getting another 911 call out to cancel the SAR mission. That seems to be the crux of the matter.

The take-a-way lesson here, as I see it, is to head back out of the wilderness while trying to call 911 to get this resolved before resuming your hike or doing anything else for that matter. And Steve's point about SPOT is clear. I have a simple Personal Locator Beacon that only sends one message and my GPS coordinates to a government center. I was planning on an upgrade when the battery expires in a few years, might have to rethink that plan.

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#32455 - 07/28/13 08:37 AM Re: Four Female Hikers Missing 20 Miles Northeast of Huntington [Re: Steve C]
dbd Offline


Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 205
Loc: San Diego
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Originally Posted By: dbd
The issue is the same with Spot or cell phone or satellite phone. Pushing the right buttons to send a "nevermind" signal doesn't take away the responsibility that should have been there from the beginning

DBD, All I read in bobpickering's post was instructions on how to actually make a SPOT issue a Cancel-SOS signal. He didn't offer any opinion whether that was all one needed to do, or whether more was required. Leaving out any opinion is not supporting the idea of walking off without contacting the authorities.


That's true Steve. And I think that listing the mechanics of the Spot Cancel-SOS on an internet forum discussion of a cell phone emergency call without giving any opinion on is irresponsible and ought to lead to some questions. I asked some.

I didn't question the accuracy of his Spot instructions, so by your logic, the questions in my post were also absolutely correct.

Please note that the post that you quoted was my response to saltydog's:
Originally Posted By: saltydog
I have to wonder how this thread got so caught up with the hypothetical SPOT issue. What about the actual issue the facts here raise: these 4 hikers called 911, FROM THE JMT, initiated SAR, boots on the ground and chopper in the air, then got themselves straightened out, went on their merry way and made no more effort than to mention it to other passing hikers.

Discuss.


What you quoted was not my response to bobpickering. Why did you remove that significant information and then respond as if it were my post to bobpickering? Or didn't you notice the difference? But saltydog raises the same question that concerned me when I saw a post about Spot mechanics appear in a discussion that had otherwise moved to the topic of the appropriate behavior in cancelling an emergency call from a cell phone.

Dale B. Dalrymple

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