FINAL UPDATE - June 15, 2014 – All parties have returned safely. The coordination between YCSO, the YCSRT Back Country Unit, and DPS Ranger Crews, were pivotal to a successful resolution in this rescue operation.The man who was transported to Verde Valley Medical Center has been identified as Ken Barnum, 70, from Casa Grande. His son, and another teen not part of the family, were airlifted to safety – see photo. The Boy Scout Troop is based out of the town of Maricopa.
Details as to what events led to this predicament involving the troop will be known once interviews and rescue reports have been completed.
UPDATE – 10:45 AM – The two remaining stranded hikers have returned safely to base camp without injury. The father/son hikers who had elected to remain overnight are being escorted out currently and their return will conclude the operation.
UPDATE- 10 A.M. - The 70-year-old male has been rescued and is being airlifted to a Camp Verde area hospital regarding cardiac issues --- further updates expected ---
PRELIMINARY REPORT –
The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, along with Ranger helicopter crews from the Department of Public Safety, are currently working to rescue 3 stranded men from the West Clear Creek area several miles off Bull Pen Road, Camp Verde. The 3 were part of a Boy Scout Troop hiking in the area. One of the men is 70-years-old and due to a prior medical condition, was unable to hike out from the rugged terrain. He is believed to be in the company of his son and grandson who remained with him overnight. The current focus of rescue teams is to secure this individual by way of an airlift and obtain immediate medical treatment. The trio is apparently located at the base of a steep canyon.
Background – Yesterday, just before 3 pm, YCSO was notified that a Boy Scout Troop consisting of 4 adults and 8 teens had not returned to a previously scheduled and designated location as agreed. Attempts to reach the group by cell phone were unsuccessful. A search effort began including air support from DPS Ranger. Just after 6 PM, DPS Ranger located the group. All but 5 were able to walk out to safety and meet with a ground team from the Yavapai County Sheriff Response Team’s Back Country Unit. Two from the troop, a father and son, elected to remain overnight and are being escorted out this morning. The other 3, which include the 70-year-old male, remained overnight pending rescue efforts at first light this morning.