Friday, July 10, 2015

Three Missing Hikers Found in Gros Ventre Wilderness

A search for three missing females in the Gros Ventre Wilderness culminated in a successful find at approximately 10:00 this morning. Megan, Erin, and Kelsi Andrews-Sharer were spotted by a Teton Interagency contract helicopter in a remote area in upper Horse Creek drainage, approximately 7 miles west of where their vehicle was found on Wednesday, July 8 at the Swift Creek trailhead on the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Yesterday, a permitted guide with Horse Creek Outfitters noted a person wearing a white rain jacket in an area with no trails. He phoned the information in to the Teton County Sheriff’s Office this morning when he became aware there was a search in progress. His accurate description of their location proved critical. The incident management team immediately redirected the helicopter to the coordinates the guide provided, and the girls were located within 20 minutes.

The hikers were cold, wet, and hungry but otherwise healthy, having spent several nights in the backcountry. Their experience and planning allowed them to be prepared for their unexpected situation. By staying together, using their tent, and having proper clothing, they were able to wait out the event without further incident.

The girls were flown to the Swift Creek trailhead and reunited with their father.

“We’re so pleased with the outcome of this search and the safety of the missing hikers and all the rescue personnel,” said Sheriff Jim Whalen, Incident Commander for the Search and Rescue event.

Responders from Teton and Sublette Counties, multiple federal agencies, and volunteers were involved in the search. Close to 100 people assisted in today’s search efforts.


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