A late night search and rescue mission carried out by Yavapai County deputies and EMTs on Sunday morning saved the life of a man in distress near Lynx Lake east of Prescott.
The incident was detailed on the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. At approximately 12:45am on Sunday, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a camper at the Hilltop Campground near Lynx Lake reporting he could hear a male yelling faintly for help in the distance.
The first responding deputy arrived at the campground within minutes and listened intently but was unable to hear any yells for help at that time. He proceeded to drive south on the next closest road, Enchanted Forest Trail, to get closer to the area where the shouts were thought to be originating from.
After parking and listening closely, the deputy was able to hear the faint voice of a man yelling “help” from somewhere deep in the dense woods. With no time to waste, he took off on foot into the darkness towards the source of the cries.
After hiking through rugged terrain for approximately one hour, the deputy finally spotted a hunched over male figure exhibiting signs of distress. The man told the deputy he was experiencing severe chest pains that were radiating down his left arm, and that he was very cold. It was clear the man was in no condition to walk out of the woods on his own.
The deputy radioed dispatch and requested emergency medical personnel stage immediately at the closest possible location, which was determined to be off Walker Road near the woods. He then advised he had located a victim needing urgent medical attention.
Soon after, three additional deputies arrived at the deputy’s location deep in the woods. With no time to lose, the four deputies took turns “fireman carrying” the ailing man through the darkness along unmarked terrain in order to transport him as quickly as possible to the waiting EMTs.
After approximately a mile long trek through the woods, the deputies successfully delivered the man to the emergency medical team waiting on Walker Road. He was loaded into an ambulance and transported to a nearby hospital in stable condition.
This weekend’s incident started in an eerily similar to the story of Cathy Esposito, who was found murdered in the woods just outside Prescott nearly 40 years ago — after bystanders heard her screaming for help. It wasn’t until earlier this that DNA evidence finally solved that cold case which had weighed heavily on the town for decades.
Luckily this late night search and rescue mission ended with a life saved instead of another tragic loss of life. The sheriff commended the quick action and perseverance of the deputies and EMTs whose teamwork lead to a successful rescue.
Cover photo courtesy of: Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office / Axon Body Cam