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Lost 84-year-old located in desert thanks to flare

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A lost 84-year-old was found safe in a desert area of La Paz, Western Arizona, USA, after firing a flare to alert rescuers.

James Smith had run out of fuel while off-roading with another person and the two got separated.

La Paz County Sheriff Bill Risen says, “The Sheriff's Department received a call of a missing/overdue person. According to the reporting party, two people were riding ‘off road’ in their OHVs in the desert area near 12-Mile Junction. Sometime near 1pm, the pair separated and an 84-year-old male became lost/stranded without communication.”

The Sheriff's Department launched a search and rescue mission consisting of ground units and the LPCSO helicopter.

Mr Smith was later found in a desolate area where he had become lost and run out of gas. When he saw the approaching helicopter, he set off the flare which aided in his rescue. He was picked up by Lt. Richard Epps in his four-wheel drive. He was in good health and was later reunited with his friends and family

James Smith later came to the Sheriff's Department to say thanks to the Deputies. The Civil Air Patrol had been on alert, in case it was needed.

Feb 16, 2017