Crews talk about Tanque Verde Falls rescue - Tucson News Now

Crews talk about Tanque Verde Falls rescue

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

It was a team effort by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue, Rural Metro Fire,  Department of Public Safety and the Southern Arizona Rescue Association, to rescue 17 people from Tanque Verde Falls Sunday, July 23 and Monday, July 24.

The people were all stranded in the falls because of flash floods. According to PCSD, the water went from a little creek that people can walk across to something they could not even swim across.
Search and Rescue said they received a call around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday from a woman who told them she was at Tanque Verde Falls, the water was rising, and she was stranded with her son.

Deputies arrived and spotted a dad and his 4-year-old son in need of help. They say the little boy was on his dad’s back.

PCSD said they made the dad and his son priority No. 1. They were able rescue the two by using Sheriff 1, the PCSD helicopter.

Search and Rescue thought they were only rescuing a few people, but that number increased quickly to 17. Crews rescued 15 people by helicopter on Sunday.

There were two men that they couldn’t rescue, because it was just too dangerous to go down to them.

Jane Larkindale is a volunteer with SARA. She spent the night watching over the two hikers that were rescued Monday morning.

The two could not be rescued because of the risk, so Larkindale’s assignment was to hike towards the men and see if she could get them to safety. She and two other volunteers tried to rescue the men.

According to Larkindale, she got as close as about 25 to 30 feet above them on a cliff, but it was just too dangerous and slick to get them. However, she did
use a line and a bag to send the men down water, food, dry clothes, and a light so they could see.

Then at 5 a.m. Monday, she began to look for an anchor to throw a rope down to the men. She found one and the men climbed up to her. The DPS ranger helicopter took the two men and then flew the volunteers out to safety.

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