Sheriff’s Office SAR performs two rescue missions over Labor Day weekend

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: The Sheriff’s Office SAR team and other first responders were called out on two rescue missions over the Labor Day weekend. 

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On Sept. 3, Graham County Search and Rescue – along with other first responders – were called out for two different rescue missions this Labor Day weekend.

The first was in the Aravaipa Canyon area near Turkey Creek. The area had been affected by flooding and primitive road damage due to heavy rains. A group of 15 people ranging in age from youth to adult were stranded due to flooding that had created poor road conditions and

running washes. The caller reported the group was out of food and water and needed assistance to get out of the area. The call for assistance was received at approximately 9:30 a.m. Sept. 3.

A Graham County patrol supervisor contacted Graham County Search and Rescue and Deputies who responded to the incident. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and citizens in the area – working with Search and Rescue -were able to get all 15 out of the canyon and transported to Safford. All were reported to be in good condition.

Also on Sept. 3, at approximately 7:40 p.m., Graham County Dispatch was notified of three boys, ages 12, 10, and 9, were missing in the Lower Arcadia area of Mount Graham. The caller stated the family had been looking for the boys for an hour with no success. Search and Rescue members, deputies and Sheriff P.J. Allred (who had responded to both call outs) began a search in the area. At approximately 11:45 p.m., the three boys were located in good condition and reunited with their family. They had gotten lost trying to return to the campsite.

The Sheriff’s Office is proud of the members of Graham County Search and Rescue who volunteer their time and talents to our community. Their willingness to respond at all hours to assist anyone who is lost or in need of rescue is humbling and greatly appreciated. These members put in countless hours of training, preparation and are ready to assist at any moment; as they exhibited this holiday weekend. We honor their commitment to the safety of others.