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11/19/2012 6:01:00 AM
Kingman Letter: Thanks to Mohave County Search and Rescue

On Thursday I took off from work early and headed to the Hualapais for some peace and quiet, never dreaming that I would end up having to call for Search and Rescue.

Setting out for Potato Patch Loop, a trail I've often hiked before, I carried only my purse (with a small water bottle and my phone) and wore only a light jacket, hoping to take in the autumn foliage and return to my truck well before sunset. But my photography endeavors proved to be too distracting. I took a wrong turn and ended up on a trail I didn't recognize; by the time I realized I was lost the sun was sinking fast and I was on the other side of the mountain.

Using the last of my phone's battery power, I called my father, who advised me to call 911, which I did ­right before my phone died.

When the sun set and the temperatures plummeted, I bundled my jacket around me, prayed, and began shouting for help. An hour passed. I began crafting a crude survival plan for the night, which included finding a rock to curl up under.

But I never had to. Shortly after that, I heard the shouts and spotted the flashlights of Louie Vega and John Neal, the two members of Mohave County Search and Rescue who had managed to track me down. Never in my life was I so grateful to hear somebody; I ran to them and hugged them, trembling with relief.

The members of Mohave County Search and Rescue are truly remarkable. They are always on call, they set out onto dangerous terrain (often at night), never knowing what to expect, and, above all, they do not get paid for it. They are volunteers.

Thank you to Louie and John, to all of the SAR team that night, to the helicopter crew, and to the paramedics and the members of MCSO who came to my aid that night. I will be eternally grateful to God for your compassion and dedication!

Christina Willis


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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Article comment by: Alison Mecom

So glad you are OK, Christina! There are so many who volunteer in our community for SAR. I would love to read an article on the brave men and women in our community who are part of SAR...it may have already been done, but bears repeating. Thank you, Search and Rescue for helping my dear friend!!

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: more info

I am glad to see Louie & John thanked in a letter to the editor. This is just one of many rescues they have made.Louie and Paula (also a SAR member) have written books on trails in Mohave County and other counties. I definitely recommend that you and others purchase one or more of them.

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