Stranded family rescued

BLOODY BASIN -- On New Year's Day, YCSO Search and Rescue Volunteers provided assistance to a Phoenix family of four in an area off Bloody Basin Road. At 6:30 p.m., a man contacted the Sheriff's Office and told dispatchers that he, his wife, and two children were stranded and that their truck was stuck in a ditch.

Fortunately, the truck was still running and providing heat. They also had water and snack foods available. Unfortunately, the man was unable to provide detailed directions to his location since the family had driven from Cave Creek.

Working with a cell phone service provider, dispatchers were able to obtain GPS coordinates. Under the direction of a Forest Patrol deputy, members of the Yavapai County Search and Rescue Team (YCSRT), 4x4 Unit were called out on a search mission.

Dispatchers remained in contact with the family to assure that help was on the way while attempting to ascertain their location by descriptive landmarks and cell phone GPS. At 8 p.m., the 4x4 team deployed and began the search and the team located the stranded family just after 10 p.m. to bring them to safety.

The efforts of these volunteers prevented the family from an overnight stay in frigid temperatures. The family's truck will be recovered at a later time.

The Sheriff's Office warns that driving into unknown wilderness areas at night is a risk and should be avoided unless properly planned to include an understanding of the terrain.

The foursome smartly remained stationary utilizing their heat source and food. Wandering away from the scene is hazardous and can only make it more difficult for rescuers.

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