Friday morning, November 4th at 8:36 AM, the Beaverhead Search and Rescue was paged out to rescue a 60+ year old gentleman from Butte who was diabetic and had high blood pressure. A party of two was driving a road in the Teddy Creek area up the West Fork of Blacktail. They attempted to drive through a snow drift around 3:00 PM on Thursday the 3rd of November and became stuck. After trying to dig themselves out they became very wet, cold, and tired. They could not dig out and darkness came before anyone found them. They had no cell service in this location and did not have an emergency location device like the SPOT or InReach.
Both men stayed with the vehicle even though it had quit running. The party had blankets, sleeping bags, and plenty of food. It was a waiting game for them. At daylight the next morning, November 4th, two hunters from Dillon, Dave Lovell and Josh Regan, ventured upon them and offered assistance. The elderly gentleman said he would not be able to walk to the other vehicle. At that time it was decided by both parties to go to Dillon and request Search and Rescue’s assistance. They left the older gentleman in the stuck vehicle with food, water, and lots of warm blankets.
At 9:35 AM on the 4th two hasty teams were deployed to the rescue area along with the hunting partner and Dave and Josh the two hunters that had given aid that morning. An ambulance was also requested and dispatched to the Teddy Creek turnoff. Upon arrival at the Teddy Creek turnoff, Graden Greenslade took a 4 wheeler with tracs up to the stuck vehicle while other rescue members took vehicles as far as possible and then walked up to the stuck vehicle. All involved got the gentleman out of the truck and into a retrieval sled. Once he was to a vehicle he was transferred from the sled and taken to the awaiting ambulance. Medical personnel, Kathy Hilton and Yvon Phillips, evaluated his condition and transported him to the hospital. The incident ended at 1:30 PM with the return of the hasty teams back to Dillon.
Search and Rescue members participating in this incident were: Lawrence Morrisroe, Julia Clark, James Mathews, Mel Rice, and Graden Greenslade. Alan Holt was the IC commanding the operation from the Search and Rescue building. Search and Rescue would also like to offer a hardy thank you to Dave and Josh who offered assistance to the stuck hunting party. They gave up their entire morning to help individuals in need rather than thinking of themselves and doing what they went to do, hunt. The two individuals stuck had multiple vehicles drive by who never checked on the two occupants. We would also like to remind all hunters we have a moral and ethical obligation to offer assistance to those in need. You just may save the life of an unsuspecting individual. Put yourself in that situation; you would want those driving by to stop.
With more weather being predicted for later this week, make sure you are prepared for the worst of worst scenarios. You never know out there when it’s going to be your turn, needing assistance or having to spend the night out. “In the Business of Saving Lives”, your Beaverhead Search and Rescue.