BULLHEAD CITY — Mohave County Sheriff’s Office is being credited as part of an operation that rescued a family stranded in a remote location south of St. George, Utah.
Others who assisted in the rescue were the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service law enforcement rangers.
BLM said that at around 7 a.m. on Jan. 6, the dispatch center for Mohave County received a 911 call from a Colorado man who said that he and his family were stranded. The man and his family, attempting to see the Grand Canyon on their way home from a California vacation, became stuck after a smartphone mapping application erroneously routed them onto unpaved backcountry roads on the Arizona Strip. The family had traveled through the backcountry before their SUV became stuck in deep mud, clay and snow at 7,500 feet.
Because of spotty cellular reception, the man wasn’t able to provide dispatch with an accurate location. The BLM said that the man walked about 20 miles with his son before being able to contact MCSO. Once the man made contact, Mohave County Deputy Jeff Davis quickly contacted BLM Law Enforcement Ranger Jason Bulkley, who was preparing to go on patrol with NPS Park Ranger Brice Provost.
The BLM said that Davis, Bulkley and Provost were able to talk to the lost man and his son and determined that they were near Lime Kiln Canyon on the Arizona Strip. Bulkley and Provost rushed to the area while Davis contacted Mohave County Deputy Paul Karsky, who was the closest to the man’s location. According to BLM, Bulkley determined that the man’s wife and children probably were on Black Rock Mountain between Cougar Spring and Maple Canyon. While Karsky drove the father and son to Mesquite, Arizona, to get medical attention, Bulkley and Provost drove toward Black Rock Mountain, where they found the rest of the family.
“This rescue, which occurred in one of the most remote areas in the continental United States, is a testament to the professionalism and teamwork of BLM and NPS law enforcement and their close collaboration with local law enforcement authorities. Getting lost and stranded in the backcountry in cold weather like this could have proven disastrous and we’re thankful that the family involved was rescued without any injuries or loss of life,” said BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Program William Perry Pendley in a prepared statement.
In a prepared statement, Lt. Taylor Nelson of the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office said that the latest incident is just one of the many examples of interagency cooperation between county and federal officers that has resulted in successful search and rescue missions, as well as the detection of criminal activity on the Arizona Strip.