Treasure News, submitted by our good friend Homer.
Treasure Hunter Found After Overnight Search
On November 17, 2009, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the report of a missing man who was treasure hunting in the wilderness area near Stanton, Arizona. This area is generally located east of the 89 between Congress and Yarnell.
At approximately 5 P.M. the man’s hiking companion called to report his friend, identified as 62-year-old William Thomas from New Mexico, had not returned. Thomas was exploring the area with a metal detector and became separated from the companion around 1 P.M. Deputies also learned that Thomas had a heart condition and no means of communication as he had left a cell phone in his vehicle.
Fortunately, the reporting party had GPS coordinates for the area Thomas was last seen.A YCSO Forest Patrol supervisor was called to a search coordination area off of Octave Road and began an assessment of the situation. Within a couple of hours, units from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Response Team were called out. The units involved included Southern Yavapai SAR, Back Country, Mounted, Quad, and Search Dog. Search teams began a coordinated search effort throughout the night to include tracking a boot print belonging to Thomas.
The Department of Public Safety sent a Ranger Helicopter crew to fly the area, but Thomas could not be located.Around 8 A.M. the following morning, November 18, rescue personnel discovered Thomas at a ranch about 3 miles from where his vehicle had been parked. He was in good condition and transported to base camp by YCSRT Quad Unit personnel. A medic from the Back Country Unit checked for any medical concerns and none were found.
Thomas told rescue personnel he did light a small warming fire during the night. Although he had a camera with him, he did not think about using the flash to signal rescue teams. Additionally, Thomas was not dressed appropriately for the overnight stay in the cold and did not take any food or water with him.
YCSO rescue personnel want to remind those venturing out in the Arizona wilderness to prepare for a worst case scenario. Always carrying a communication device such as GPS tracker or cell phone, water, food, matches, flashlight, appropriate clothing and even consider an emergency shelter kit.
What have I been saying all this time? Be smart and be safe!