At 9:30 this morning Pueblo County Sheriff’s Emergency Services Bureau (ESB) Search and Rescue team located three hikers who reported themselves lost in the San Isabel area late yesterday. The hikers, two men and one woman all in their 20’s, hiked into the natural water slide yesterday afternoon then followed what they called a creek before realizing they had lost their way. At 7:30 PM they called 911 to ask for help. PCSO deputies, Rye Fire Protection District, and ESB search and rescue volunteers searched the area until dark. Command post remained staffed overnight to watch for signs of the hikers but when they didn’t return to their vehicle, the search began again this morning.
Pueblo County Sheriffs dispatchers had tried “pinging” the cellular phones of the individuals to find their location using satellite technology but were unsuccessful. This morning additional support from the US Forest Service, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, Custer County Sheriff’s Office, and Beulah Volunteer Fire Department responded to assist in the search effort and were mobilizing when the hikers were located. PCSO is grateful for the quick response from those agencies, all of whom have been released from the scene.
Happily, the hikers report they are uninjured. Beulah ambulance personnel will assess the three before they leave the mountain. PCSO Bureau Chief Mark Mears, who stayed at Incident Command until daybreak said, “Although it was cold and rainy in the area overnight, we had no reason to believe these parties were hurt and I am glad to hear they are doing fine. They are hungry and tired but that is to be expected.” says Mears.
The hikers have been identified as Roman Gurule, Jennifer Hernandez, and Derek Strahlem.