Collier County Sheriff’s Office helicopter crew rescues two hikers

Published: Updated:
(CREDIT: Collier County Sheriff’s Office)

A Collier County Sheriff’s Office helicopter crew found two hikers after a storm in the Big Cypress Preserve over the weekend.

The rescue started after one of the hikers suffered a medical emergency during the storm, according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

GPS coordinates placed them in the preserve approximately seven miles south of the 63-mile marker rest area on Interstate 75.

Due to severe weather, aircrews were unable to respond and a ground search was launched with assistance from the National Park Service.

After the weather cleared, CCSO Air Rescue 1 carrying three deputies and two North Collier Fire Department rescue specialists responded to the area and began a search.

Aaron App, a Pilot for CCSO Aviation Bureau said, “They were in a heavily wooded area of one of the Cypress heads. But once we located them, we lowered our two North Collier rescue specialists down to the ground and they went out to assess the patients and determined that they were able to be hoisted out we made the hoist and delivered them to EMS at the 63-mile marker rest area.”

About an hour into the search the aircrew located the hikers, who used their flashlight to signal the helicopter, in a thick cypress head along a waterlogged section of the Trail, according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

“This rescue is a prime example of the great work of our Aviation Bureau,” said Sheriff Kevin Rambosk. “Whether it is a rescue or helping to extinguish brush fires or assisting our Patrol division, our Aviation Bureau is always ready to deploy.”

The aircrew hoisted the hikers to safety and flew them to the rest area where they were evaluated by paramedics.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.