The Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue (SAR) Team responded on August 7, 2011, to a request for aid to hikers unable to cross Convict Creek. A father was hiking out of the back country with his two teenage children when they became stranded at the trail crossing of Convict Creek due to deep and swift water. The bridge at this site between steep canyon walls was washed out some years ago, and hikers have been required to ford the creek. A hiker on the downstream side of the creek was asked to get help, and he walked out and called the Sheriff’s Department. The SAR Team was dispatched to the area, and 5 team members with swift water rescue gear staged at the Convict Lake Marina. The group was ferried across Convict Lake by boat and hiked toward the stranded party. Prior to arriving at the location, the family was found on the trail, continuing their walk out, having been assisted across by other people in the area. There were no injuries and the group declined any medical treatment.
The Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue (SAR) Team also responded to a second call on August 7, 2011, to aid an ill backpacker. She began a hike on the John Muir Trail with two friends on Wednesday, August 3, 2011. She began having nausea from the start of the trip, and was only able to hold down water and food on a very limited basis. Four days into the trip, while camped at Thousand Island Lake, she and her friends decided she should leave the trip and return to the trailhead where they had started via a trail that would only take her one day to do. Her friends continued with their backpacking trip to Yosemite. Due to her weakened condition, she was only able to walk slowly. A packer from Agnew Meadows Pack Outfit came upon her on the High Trail about 5 miles north of Agnew Meadows and called 911 for assistance. The Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue Team responded, requesting the help of a California Highway Patrol helicopter for extraction. The helicopter was able to land near the backpacker and transported her to the search and rescue base set up at the Minaret Vista helispot. Mono County Paramedics were standing by, but the backpacker refused medical treatment or transport to Mammoth Hospital.
- by Jennifer Hansen, Mono Sheriff Public Information Officer