Florida hikers rescued by helicopter in Big Cypress Preserve
A stranded pair of hikers used a flashlight to signal rescue workers in a helicopter over Big Cypress Preserve on Friday.
The hikers walked along the Florida Trail around 4:15 p.m. when they called for help, a Facebook post from the Collier County Sheriff's Office reported in a Facebook post on Monday. One exhibited symptoms of heat stroke while they were in a thick cypress head along a waterlogged section of the trail, the post indicated..
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GPS coordinates placed them approximately 7 miles south of 63 mile marker rest area on Interstate 75.
Because of severe weather, aircrews couldn't immediately respond and workers launched a ground search with assistance from the National Park Service. After the weather cleared, the sheriff's Air Rescue 1 responded.
About an hour into the search the aircrew located the hikers, who used their flashlight to signal the helicopter.
The helicopter crew had three deputies and two North Collier Fire Department rescue specialists aboard.
The crew hoisted the hikers to safety and flew them to the rest area where paramedics evaluated them.
“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.”