News | Feb. 14, 2022

FRCSW Teammates Help Rescue Lost Hiker

By Jim Markle

Perhaps best known for its beaches and Mediterranean climate, San Diego also boasts a scenic desert in its eastern region with county and state parks that attract thousands of visitors a year.
 
Adam Kimmerly, a quality manager at Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW), is quite familiar with the state and San Diego parks systems. He is a member of the San Diego Mountain Rescue Team (SDMRT), a local volunteer Search and Rescue team that was formed in 1967 and acts in conjunction with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department.
 
Last month, Kimmerly and a group of FRCSW teammates that included Thom Jarvis, Camille Delaflor, Paul Douvier and Marc Rasp (all from the command’s Fleet Support Team) found themselves playing a pivotal role in the rescue of a lost hiker in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the largest state park in California.
 
“Thom Jarvis invited me to join him and a group of FRCSW employees and friends to go hiking on Saturday, January 22, to see the Goat Canyon Trestle – the world’s largest wood trestle located in a remote part of the Anza-Borrego desert,” Kimmerly said.

On Friday evening, the day before the hike, the SDMRT received notice from the sheriff’s department that a search would be held Saturday morning to locate a 40-year-old Italian man who had not returned from a January 19 hike from the Mortero Palms trailhead to the Goat Canyon Trestle. The man’s vehicle had been found at Mortero Palms, but there was no sign of him.
 
“The hike is very rugged and the trail is marginal in many places. And since Thom was planning to hike in the area the next day, I contacted him and asked him to keep an eye out for the missing hiker or any clues,” Kimmerly said.
 
“I deployed in the morning to help with the search but found no clues in my search area. But around 10 a.m., other teams were beginning to report back to the command post that they had encountered hikers who had seen another hiker matching the missing man’s description.”
 
Shortly afterward, Jarvis and the rest of the FRCSW group encountered the man.
 
“As they passed him, they said hello and thought ‘maybe that’s the guy.’ Following a suggestion from his wife, Thom, who speaks a little Italian, asked in Italian, ‘Do you speak Italian?’ The hiker said he did and explained that he was trying to find his way back to his car. They gave him a sandwich and some water, and told him to wait there so they could hike with him back to their car and then get him back to his car.”

Soon after the initial encounter, the sheriff’s search helicopter flew over and the FRCSW group flagged it down. The pilot dropped off a medic who evaluated the hiker, and the returned afterward to fly the hiker and medic back to the command post.


Fortunately, the hiker did not require medical attention and sustained only minor injuries.
 
“In the end, it was a great example of how teamwork amongst searchers, friends, and even strangers can solve a problem and potentially even save someone’s life,” Kimmerly said.
 
 
 

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FRCSW Teammates Help Rescue Lost Hiker

Last month a group of FRCSW teammates that included Adam Kimmerly, Thom Jarvis, Camille Delaflor, Paul Douvier and Marc Rasp (all from the command’s Fleet Support Team) found themselves playing a pivotal role in the rescue of a lost hiker in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the largest state park in California.

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