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Sheriff’s office deploys helicopter to save lost hiker on Mount Spokane

UPDATED: Tue., July 10, 2018, 7:35 p.m.

This image, taken from a video shared by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, shows the view from a helicopter of a hiker who spent Monday night lost in the woods on Mount Spokane. (Spokane County Sheriff’s Office)
This image, taken from a video shared by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, shows the view from a helicopter of a hiker who spent Monday night lost in the woods on Mount Spokane. (Spokane County Sheriff’s Office)

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said deputies rescued a hiker who spent Monday night lost in the woods on Mount Spokane.

The hiker, who was not identified, departed the Selkirk Lodge on Monday and called 911 when he lost his bearings, the sheriff’s office said in a news release. But with a low phone battery and spotty cell service, his calls were repeatedly dropped and deputies could not retrieve his GPS coordinates.

Because of the dense forest and rugged terrain, the sheriff’s volunteer search-and-rescue team requested the department’s helicopter to search for the man from above. After spotting the hiker with a thermal-imaging camera around 5 a.m. Tuesday – as seen in a YouTube video shared by the sheriff’s office – the chopper crew guided a deputy on the ground to the hiker’s location.

The man was given food, water and medical attention, although he was uninjured, the sheriff’s office said. In all, he had walked about 18 miles overnight.

The sheriff’s office urged hikers to call for help as soon as they know they are lost, and before the sun goes down; to bring extra clothing, food, water, a flashlight, a cellphone, a map and navigation devices; and to put cellphones in “airplane mode” to conserve battery power.