GPS leads tourists astray

KINGMAN - Even the best Global Positioning System can lead drivers astray, as three groups of tourists found out last weekend.

Mohave County Search and Rescue Units responded to three calls for help from stranded tourists stuck in the desert after following directions to Grand Canyon West from their GPS. Luckily for the tourists, they had a cell phone signal and GPS coordinates to give SAR personnel.

The first call came in at 11 p.m. on Saturday from two Chinese tourists who had gotten their rental vehicle stuck in a wash in the area of Greggs Hideout.

Deputies were unable to locate the couple and called in SAR units. SAR found the couple around 2:30 a.m. at the bottom of Hualapai Wash in the Gold Basin area.

According to MCSO, the couple's rental car GPS unit sent them down a road that hasn't existed for at least 15 years.

SAR units got a second call for help from another stuck tourist on Sunday afternoon.

At 3:18 p.m., Stephen Elliot, 35, from Las Vegas called MCSO to report his H3 Hummer was stuck in the mud near the top of the Music Mountains.

According to MCSO, Elliot's GPS unit had advised him this was the shortest, most direct route to Grand Canyon West.

SAR units located Elliot around 6 p.m. Elliot was traveling by himself.

A third call for help from a stranded California couple came Monday afternoon. The couple called round 3:19 p.m. after their vehicle became stuck in the mud in the Music Mountains. SAR units located the couple at 5:30 p.m.

Both couples and Elliot were found in good health and transported back to Kingman.