2 Arizona Hikers and Dog Airlifted to Safety From Tucson Desert

by Amy Myers

Last Monday, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department (PCSD) had to rescue two hikers and their dog in Romero Pass near Tucson, Arizona. Using the department’s Search and Rescue and Air Units, the team lifted the group to safety and out of the desert heat.

According to the PCSD’s report, the hikers and their dog were suffering dehydration and couldn’t continue on the trail. The group decided to call the authorities, and soon, a rescue crew arrived to lift all three out of the area.

“The Pima County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue and Air Units were pretty busy yesterday,” the department shared in its update on Facebook. “They rescued two hikers and a dog that had heat-related issues near Romero Pass. In this case, all three could not walk out of the area on their own. So they were air-lifted out, including the dog who goes by the name Whisky.”

Along with the report, the PCSD also included a clip of the team bringing Whisky the hiking dog on the helicopter. From far below, the pooch slowly came into view, a cord secured to its harness and safety muzzle on its snout.

Surprisingly, Whisky remained pretty calm during the rescue, scary as the experience may have been.

The PCSD assured that both Arizona hikers and their pup are all doing fine and have recovered from the incident.

The department reminded hikers of crucial tips for exploring Arizona’s trails:

  1. Start your hike early in the morning and be off the trail by 10 a.m.
  2. Make sure you bring water and snacks or beverages with electrolytes.
  3. Turn around when you’ve finished half of your water, even if there’s more to the trail.
  4. Call 9-1-1 immediately at the first sign of heat issues. “Rescue is a no-charge service in the state of Arizona.”

Rescue Crews Find Arizona Hiker Dead After Falling From Trail

Fortunately for the most recent Arizona hikers, there weren’t any fatalities. However, earlier this year, there was another accident in the popular Lost Dutchman State Park that had a much more tragic ending. While exploring Flatiron Peak, the 21-year-old hiker, Richard Jacobson fell 700 feet from the summit to his death. According to the report, at the time, Jacobson was trying to snap a photo when he slipped.

“He slipped and fell,” said Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Doug Peoble, according to the report. “I can tell you that during our investigation, there [were] no signs of foul play. No signs of drug use whatsoever. It was just a very tragic accident.”

Similar to the incident near Tucson, crews once again used a helicopter to lift the hiker’s body out of the area. Jacobson’s friend was with him at the time of the accident and rode in the helicopter as well.

“As you can imagine, he was very distraught,” Sgt. Peoble added. “He was torn up pretty bad emotionally. We were able to get a helicopter to him.”