Shortly before 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 24, the victim was able to send an emergency satellite SOS using her iPhone. Authorities received the signal, which stated that the woman needed assistance, though the service does not provide a reason why.
The helicopter was able to get a break in the stormy weather and fly to the location, which was about 3.5 miles from the trailhead, officials said.
“After finding no one near the reported coordinates, Classic flew down the canyon and spotted the woman and her dog about 2 miles downstream from the original coordinates,” a release states.
Officials said the helicopter was unable to land in the canyon, but ground crews were able to reach the woman around 1.5 miles from the trailhead. Rescuers reached the woman shortly before 9:30 p.m.
Officials said she was uninjured. Upon being rescued, the woman stated that she was caught in a flash flood and carried “150-200 feet” down the canyon, the release states.
She reportedly said that she heard the flood coming and was able to get to a sand bank at higher ground, though the sand eroded due to rising water. Both the woman and her dog were then swept into the flood.
Eight minutes before dispatch received her emergency message, the woman got a text message stating, “Emergency Services: Message Send Failure.” Because she believed her message had not gone through, she began hiking down the canyon with her dog.
Rescue crews said she was “covered in mud from head to toe” when they found her. Officials said she lost her shoes in the flood, though one of the rescue crew members gave her his shoes to wear on the hike back.
GCSSAR issued the following safety tip following this incident, “Please research your planned route thoroughly. Know the specific type of terrain you will encounter. Check local weather forecasts on the day of your trip. Thunderstorms build quickly and can flood canyons from many miles away.”
No further information is available at this time.