PCSO Search and Rescue continuing search for missing hiker | News
The search is still going for a lost hiker at the Lost Dutchman State Park.
Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue units are still actively searching for Christopher Hensley, who has been missing for more than 45 hours. PCSO first deployed their Search and Rescue unit shortly after 10 a.m. on April 15.
Hensley had recently moved to Arizona, and is not familiar with the area. According to PCSO he took off from a family member’s house in east Apache Junction.
According to PCSO officials he was dressed in black workout shorts and skateboard shoes, and only had enough water with him for a short hike. Hensley had not told anyone where in the park he had decided to hike. PCSO Search and Rescue unit and the volunteer Search and Rescue Posse members have been searching the entire park for the last 45 hours, they have had assistance from the PCSO Search and Rescue helicopter, when wind allows.
The windy conditions make an air search of the canyons extremely dangerous. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team has also been assisting in the search. One member of the Maricopa team received a serious leg injury Tuesday night when a 20-pound boulder fell on his leg. Additionally, a Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Posse member sprained their ankle searching the rugged terrain.
In a recent news release, Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “The Pinal County Sheriff‟s Search and Rescue team already has had a record year for the number of calls for service related to lost hikers. Individuals are encouraged to enjoy the great outdoors and the beautiful hiking trails of the Superstition Mountains but they need to be prepared before starting their adventure.”
The PCSO is also offering the following tips on hiking:
- Always inform someone on your plans. Make sure they know the area you will be in and when to expect your return. Then make sure you stick to you plan.
- Bring plenty of water. Make sure to take enough to stay properly hydrated and have extra in case a missed trail or wrong turn extends your tip.
- Take a cell phone.
- Have adequate clothing. Clothing should be lightweight, light in color, appropriate pants and long sleeve shirt. Have a hat available to protect your head and neck from the sun. Have a good set of boots with non-slip soles if possible. Tennis shoes are not adequate for hiking mountain trails.
- Know weather conditions.
- Know your limitations. If you start feeling fatigued or ill, it’s alright for you to turn around and head back. Don’t ignore what your body is telling you.
- Bring compass/GPS/maps. The old-fashioned compass is rapidly going way to the GPS (Global Positioning System) navigation. But compasses are still often cheaper and it's always a good idea for hikers to get familiar with one and how to use it. If you are going to use a GPS make sure you get waypoints and bring spare batteries. Make sure you bring an efficient map.
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