Lost hikers rescued by police, fire officers

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Members of the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service Land Search and Rescue Team. – File photo by Ayanna Kinsale

A family of hikers was rescued by officers of the police and fire service on February 17.

A release from the police service said the family encountered a hiking misadventure when they became lost in the vicinity of Mt St Benedict.

The family contacted the police’s E999 command centre at 5.30 on Saturday, and officers of the Northern Division Operational Centre were notified. The police service’s air support unit was immediately activated and officers of the fire service were also contacted.

The release said the family reported that around 4.40 pm, the family of four, which included two young children, started a hike along the northern range close to the popular flag site close to the mount.

On their way back they became lost and contacted E999.

The police’s release said Insps Rampallard and Beepot, officers of the air support unit and fire sub officers John-Baptiste Reid and fire officers from the Tunapuna fire station formulated a search and rescue plan.

While piloting a drone over the mountainous terrain, Rampallard spotted the family in a forested area. The information was then downloaded from the drone to pinpoint the exact location of the hikers, who were rescued at 9.18 pm by a team consisting of the fire service land search and rescue team, a volunteer resident of El Pilar Heights, and volunteer hunters.

The family was examined by fire service personnel and appeared to be in good physical health. They were offered assistance to be taken to the nearest health facility but declined, the release said.

The family was then reunited with the rest of their family.

Air support operations were coordinated by ACP (Tactical Support) Thompson,and ASP (Coastal and Air Support Unit) Walker. North Central West Division response was coordinated by ACP Subero and Snr Supt Smith. The fire service’s response was coordinated by acting assistant chief fire officer Sampson.