Unexpected Christmas SAR

Discussion in 'Search, Rescue and Technical Skills' started by STPNWLF, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. STPNWLF

    STPNWLF Member

    Messages:
    4,249
    Likes Received:
    10,074
    Location:
    Florida
    So on 12/24 around 4:30PM my neighbor Joe came over to give us some ground elk and go hunting for a hog to roast for New year's eve. I walked with him to the edge of our property shooting the breeze and wished him luck, it was overcast, damp, breezy, and around 50something degrees.
    Joe's 66yrs old (lean build) and has lived and hunted these woods his whole life, but over confidence can get you killed.
    Around 7:30pm he called us saying he had bad leg cramps and could I pick him up on the Kawasaki mule, saying he had made it back to one of the trails on our property. Well to make a long story short I tromped through thick and thin for 7hrs through those woods staying in contact with him via cellphone trying to find him. He was getting hypothermic and wouldn't listen to my advice to stay put. Needless to say sheriff's Dept, FWC, DOC bloodhounds, and everyone that's ever known Joe was hunting for him. 4wheelers, utv's, airboats, canoe's, kayaks, and the entire redneck rescue cavalry where all called in.
    Joe was found 26 1/2 hrs after he had first gone into the woods barely alive with a body temp of 87° and BP of 53.
    Here's a few bad pics from the search.
    IMG_20191225_205101.jpg
    IMG_20191225_205041.jpg
    IMG_20191225_205017.jpg
    IMG_20191225_204946.jpg
     
    Strigidae, CWB, Zeek and 2 others like this.
  2. Jeff Randall

    Jeff Randall ESEE Knives / Randall's Adventure & Training Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,575
    Likes Received:
    8,584
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alabama
    If he had cell service, could he not tell you coordinates of where he was?
     
    mtngoat, STPNWLF and IW17 like this.
  3. ASH

    ASH Member

    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    841
    Location:
    Outer Space
    That's crazy. How is he doing now?
     
    STPNWLF likes this.
  4. IW17

    IW17 Member

    Messages:
    2,801
    Likes Received:
    5,278
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The lakes, Ohio
    Glad to hear he got help. I'm curious, was he hunting with a firearm? Couldn't he fire off a few shots while on the phone with you to at least give you an idea of his general direction?
     
    Zeek, STPNWLF and ASH like this.
  5. ASH

    ASH Member

    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    841
    Location:
    Outer Space
    I was wondering the same thing.
     
    STPNWLF likes this.
  6. STPNWLF

    STPNWLF Member

    Messages:
    4,249
    Likes Received:
    10,074
    Location:
    Florida
    I'll elaborate more on what happened later.
    I will say that it was the classic scenario of someone thinking they know what they're doing but are actually making they're situation worse.
     
    Strigidae, IW17 and Zeek like this.
  7. Kevo

    Kevo Member

    Messages:
    632
    Likes Received:
    838
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    @STPNWLF any more details? It's wild what the cold can do to a person's better judgement.
     
    Jeff Randall likes this.
  8. Jeff Randall

    Jeff Randall ESEE Knives / Randall's Adventure & Training Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,575
    Likes Received:
    8,584
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alabama
    Couldn't agree more. I'm a complete and total idiot once I get cold.
     
    RocketmanDane and Kevo like this.
  9. Kevo

    Kevo Member

    Messages:
    632
    Likes Received:
    838
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Same. By the time dexterity is starting to go, you're already in the range of hypothermia. I could only imagine what it's like attempting to tie knots or do other rope work.
     
  10. IW17

    IW17 Member

    Messages:
    2,801
    Likes Received:
    5,278
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The lakes, Ohio
    I was actually just having this conversation. People underestimate just how easy it is to go hyperthermic even in just "cool" conditions. Add being wet to the mixture and Temps in the 60's could be very dangerous.
     
    Jeff Randall, Zeek and Kevo like this.
  11. STPNWLF

    STPNWLF Member

    Messages:
    4,249
    Likes Received:
    10,074
    Location:
    Florida
    All the above happened
    Cold damp conditions,non waterproof jacket that got soaked/heavy/abandoned
    Delirium/fatigue and thinking you know exactly where you are but actually going the wrong way (stubborn determination)
    When I was on the phone with him I asked him if he still had his lighter- response- yeah, but I don't have any cigarettes
    Me- you need to find high ground under a tree and start a fire and curl up with your dog to stay warm and stay put. In the morning throw alot of spanish moss on the fire and I'll find you.
    By then he wasn't thinking clearly, hallucinating/hallucihearing making his situation that much worse.
    The lesson here is as soon as your not exactly sure of where you are stop and make yourself as comfortable and visible as possible.
     
    RocketmanDane, Kevo, ASH and 2 others like this.

Share This Page