Two snowshoers have Iron County Search & Rescue and the aviation program at SUU to thank after becoming lost, after dark in the backcountry of southern Utah, Sunday.
Iron County Search & Rescue used snowmobiles to comb an area near Brian Head but failed to locate two men who became lost, after sundown. That’s when SUU flight instructors Josh Larsen and Patrick Karanen, using a Bell 206 helicopter equipped with night-vision technology took over, locating the men around 9 p.m.
“What I’d like to briefly talk about is the great relationship that… the university’s aviation department has with the Iron County Sheriff’s Department," said Mike Mower, director of SUU’s Department of Aviation Sciences. "This has turned out to be a really great partnership… in the service of the county, and the citizens within the county. We’ve assisted with multiple surveillance missions, search and rescues and specifically, last night we had the opportunity to participate in the search and rescue of two individuals who had become lost while they were hiking up near Brian Head. And it was the first opportunity we’ve had to actually use our night-vision goggles in a rescue and… the results were awesome. We were able to find the two individuals, and… were able to pick them up on the mountain and return them safely to the city. So we’re of course very grateful for everybody within the sheriff’s departement…. You know it’s very easy for us to go and do this… but in all actuality the members of the search and rescue team and the sheriff’s department, they’re the heroes and all the credit needs to go to them.”
Last month, SUU also assisted in locating a downed private airplane in Washington County.