2 lost hikers spotted by drones

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 8:07 AM CDT
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DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. (WABC) - Two lost hikers in New York were found rather quickly, thanks to the fast response of the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office.

The rescue crews used ATVs, drones and thermal imaging technology from the air to find the pair.

But it was still a race against time to find them before the hikers’ phone batteries died.

It looks like a slide on a microscope, but what the video show is the end of a dramatic rescue.

The red blobs are first responders reaching two hikers as seen by a drone with thermal imaging technology.

“They were fine. They were just lost and needed someone to locate them,” said Capt. Todd Grieb of Dutchess County Sheriffs Office.

It happened Tuesday night on Stissing Mountain in Dutchess County.

A man and a woman in their 20s got lost on a hiking trail and called 911 once darkness fell.

“They went in what is called the blue trail. They lost the tags for the blue trail and ended up on the red trail, and eventually couldn’t figure out where they were,” Grieb said.

“They should have been paying attention to their time, looking up at the sky, ‘cause once it gets dark in there and you don’t have a flashlight, you can’t see the markers in front of you, you’re lost,” said Marc Chapman, who lives next to one entrance of the 590-acre wooded area.

The Dutchess County Sheriffs Office has a fleet of eight drones, each equipped with a bright light, which the hikers were able to see and direct first responders to their location.

The fact that deputies could talk with the hikers was obviously a big plus, but the phone battery was running low and so the race was on to find them before losing communication.

“Without that, we would have been moving around in the dark and yelling or doing our typical grid search to be able to locate these folks,” Grieb said.

After nearly an hour and a half the hikers, were led safely out of the woods thanks to a high-tech eye in the sky.