Jump to content

Missing couple found on ledge in Death Valley National Park.


Recommended Posts

For those that can't read it, here's a snippet:

Death Valley National Park located the couple’s missing white Subaru off Gold Valley Road. A note on the vehicle read, “Two flat tires, headed to Mormon Point, have three days’ worth of water.”

The note provided vital information to help locate the couple in their remote location.

The Inyo Search and Rescue technical team spotted the couple through aerial reconnaissance of the incredibly remote area, according to the release.

The team attempted a hoist operation, but the extreme location meant the two team members who rappelled were unable to reach the couple. Another operation will begin Thursday evening with an Inyo Search and Rescue team descending into the canyon.

NEWS FLASH! In an emergency, one can drive a car with flat tires. Better to replace two tires & two rims later & get to safety, than to abandon your vehicle in Death Valley & go hiking into no-mans-land. 

Their other (obvious) option was to hike 22 miles down the road they were on. At least then they could have been found more easily, or got lucky & come across another driver. It seems like they chose the highest risk, least logical option & it nearly cost them their life. Scary.

  • Like 1
Link to post
37 minutes ago, dralarms said:

Well heck, are they alive or dead?

The male is dead.  Female in hospital.

That is seriously dangerous country out there even for the experienced.  

Edited by Garufa
  • Like 1
Link to post

I wonder if it's safer in that scenario to stay with the vehicle. You would at least have shade and it's easier to find than a human.

Side note, my wife actually got me one of these for my birthday. I'm still researching all it does but I do know a few things. 1) I can text with people. 2) it has an SOS button I can hit if I get hurt or break down.

 

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/561269

 

 

  • Like 5
Link to post

Erik88, I have one of those garmin I reach devices. I keep the lowest cost subscription just in case of an emergency. Thankfully haven’t needed it yet.

Frog4aday, I agree in a life threatening emergency you could drive on the rims to get out of harms way. 

I don’t understand why they choose to hike to a remote ledge. Maybe they thought they could get a cell signal. The one thing good thing they did was to leave the note. 
 

Having the means to fix a flat or a least put air in the tires would have made a difference too. 
 

I have been to Death Valley and spent a fair amount of time in the Mojave. Your vehicle needs to be well maintained.  I used to carry a well stocked auto emergency kit, extra water, food etc. 

Even just driving I-10 on the highway thru the desert you see tons of cars that overheat and break down. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
17 hours ago, Frog4aday said:

For those that can't read it, here's a snippet:

Death Valley National Park located the couple’s missing white Subaru off Gold Valley Road. A note on the vehicle read, “Two flat tires, headed to Mormon Point, have three days’ worth of water.”

The note provided vital information to help locate the couple in their remote location.

The Inyo Search and Rescue technical team spotted the couple through aerial reconnaissance of the incredibly remote area, according to the release.

The team attempted a hoist operation, but the extreme location meant the two team members who rappelled were unable to reach the couple. Another operation will begin Thursday evening with an Inyo Search and Rescue team descending into the canyon.

NEWS FLASH! In an emergency, one can drive a car with flat tires. Better to replace two tires & two rims later & get to safety, than to abandon your vehicle in Death Valley & go hiking into no-mans-land. 

Their other (obvious) option was to hike 22 miles down the road they were on. At least then they could have been found more easily, or got lucky & come across another driver. It seems like they chose the highest risk, least logical option & it nearly cost them their life. Scary.

You cannot drive on a sandy, rocky road/trail with 2 flat tires, especially when they're both on the same side.  A jacked up Jeep won't get far, and a stock Subaru sure won’t either. 

They were experienced in the back country and had supplies. They knew where they were going and left a note to tell others. Perhaps they though they would meet others there.   

  • Like 1
Link to post

Staying with your vehicle in the winter or other times when it can afford protection is a good idea but staying with a broken-down car in the desert heat would not be ideal.

  • Like 1
Link to post

I can’t figure why they hiked to a location that was unreachable but helicopter? Like was said above, if you have 3 days of water, why not hike down the road? Or did they? 

  • Like 1
Link to post

So many things when wrong. After looking at the map they hiked in a direction that appeared shorter to paved road but extremely rough terrain. I know making the right decision is never easy in the moment, but staying with the vehicle or hiking down the road they drive in would have been better options.  22miles even in extreme heat could be done. Wait for night fall and hike hard all night and you could be there before sunrise.  
 

They should have had more food and water as well as a mobile emergency device like Erik posted above. It’s easy to armchair quarterback this now but when you go to a place called “Death Valley” you HAVE to prepare to survive if the situation arises.  

  • Like 5
Link to post
7 hours ago, Wingshooter said:

I also have a Garmin InReach. Great piece of mind when I’m far from cell service. 

I have the older model the inreach se, so far it is still holding up. I take mine with me on the road or camping.  Good to have for an emergency. 

  • Like 1
Link to post

I'm thinking about returning the inReach she got me. There are some really bad reviews online. For $500 the damn thing should work and that doesn't include the monthly subscription. There are other competitors out there that I'm looking at which cost around $200. 

Link to post
53 minutes ago, Erik88 said:

I'm thinking about returning the inReach she got me. There are some really bad reviews online. For $500 the damn thing should work and that doesn't include the monthly subscription. There are other competitors out there that I'm looking at which cost around $200. 

All I can say is mine works fine. Most anything with two way communication via satellite will require a subscription. You must have the more expensive model with maps and touchscreen.  The mini costs about 324 now. I see Zoleo on Amazon for $199. It also requires subscription. The ACR locator beacons do not require a subscription, but do not have communication and they have a shelf life.  

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
23 minutes ago, kentmck said:

You must have the more expensive model with maps and touchscreen.  The mini costs about 324 now. I see Zoleo on Amazon for $199

Yes she picked up the top of the line Garmin which I think is overkill for my needs. I was looking at the Zoleo as it had really good reviews. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
1 minute ago, Erik88 said:

Yes she picked up the top of the line Garmin which I think is overkill for my needs. I was looking at the Zoleo as it had really good reviews. 

If you decide to get a different brand let us know how you like it. My old model won’t last forever and eventually I will be looking to replace it.  The truth is it’s just nice to have, extra insurance. I have camped and hiked in a lot of remote places long before cell phones and never had a serious emergency. 

Once in the  four corners area out west, I had to drive miles to relay a message for a ranger, because even their radios weren’t reliable.  


 

 

Link to post

Found the go fund me page that explains the man died from fatal injuries trying to navigate the canyon to get to the road. The female ha da severe ankle injury require surgery.  I simply think they made a bad navigation error and got in very extreme terrain and had a mishap.  According to the timeline on the page if they’d stayed with the car they would have been found an entire day earlier.  Assuming it had gas they could have even run the ac periodically to stave off heat trauma 

 

https://www.gofundme.com/f/emily-henkel-alex-lofgren-disaster-relief

  • Like 1
  • Sad 2
  • Wow 1
Link to post
1 hour ago, Lumber_Jack said:

Found the go fund me page that explains the man died from fatal injuries trying to navigate the canyon to get to the road. The female ha da severe ankle injury require surgery.  I simply think they made a bad navigation error and got in very extreme terrain and had a mishap.  According to the timeline on the page if they’d stayed with the car they would have been found an entire day earlier.  Assuming it had gas they could have even run the ac periodically to stave off heat trauma 

 

https://www.gofundme.com/f/emily-henkel-alex-lofgren-disaster-relief

Thanks for the update, answers some questions. I read that Alex was a veteran who served in Afghanistan and worked to help veterans in Arizona. 

Link to post
8 hours ago, Lumber_Jack said:

Found the go fund me page that explains the man died from fatal injuries trying to navigate the canyon to get to the road. The female ha da severe ankle injury require surgery.  I simply think they made a bad navigation error and got in very extreme terrain and had a mishap.  According to the timeline on the page if they’d stayed with the car they would have been found an entire day earlier.  Assuming it had gas they could have even run the ac periodically to stave off heat trauma 

 

https://www.gofundme.com/f/emily-henkel-alex-lofgren-disaster-relief

Sad. I agree... sounds like they got into some rough ground. Leaving the car and going off trail was a risky move. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out well.

Link to post
16 hours ago, kentmck said:

I have the older model the inreach se, so far it is still holding up. I take mine with me on the road or camping.  Good to have for an emergency. 

Good to hear it has worked well for you! I got the 66i because I wanted to be able to load the OnX chip for private property lines. I haven’t had it very long, but I have tested it some. So far, the InReach has worked well when my cell phone doesn’t . Next month I will take it into the Sawtooth mountains of Idaho backpacking. I’ll let you know how it does.

  • Like 1
Link to post

FYI for everyone that isn't going into Death Valley, harbor freight makes a really good but inexpensive 12 volt air compressor that works well. Get a tire plugging kit also. Unless they didn't have a spare tire or didn't know how to use it, they should have had a minimum of 3 good tires?? When I was in west texas all the pickups you saw had 2 or more spares because of the mesquite.

  • Like 2
Link to post
1 hour ago, Dirtshooter said:

FYI for everyone that isn't going into Death Valley, harbor freight makes a really good but inexpensive 12 volt air compressor that works well. Get a tire plugging kit also. Unless they didn't have a spare tire or didn't know how to use it, they should have had a minimum of 3 good tires?? When I was in west texas all the pickups you saw had 2 or more spares because of the mesquite.

Mesquite pops truck tires? 🤔

  • Like 1
Link to post
  • 4 weeks later...
On 4/16/2021 at 3:51 PM, E4 No More said:

Mesquite pops truck tires? 🤔

And they get you when your sleeping 

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

THE FINE PRINT

Tennessee Gun Owners (TNGunOwners.com) is the premier Community and Discussion Forum for gun owners, firearm enthusiasts, sportsmen and Second Amendment proponents in the state of Tennessee and surrounding region.

TNGunOwners.com (TGO) is a presentation of Enthusiast Productions. The TGO state flag logo and the TGO tri-hole "icon" logo are trademarks of Tennessee Gun Owners. The TGO logos and all content presented on this site may not be reproduced in any form without express written permission. The opinions expressed on TGO are those of their authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the site's owners or staff.

Before engaging in any transaction of goods or services on TGO, all parties involved must know and follow the local, state and Federal laws regarding those transactions. TGO makes no claims, guarantees or assurances regarding any such transactions.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to the following.
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Guidelines
 
We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.