Four hikers at Red River Gorge were unable to find their way back to their car after dark and burnt their clothes in desperation. The trip started as a daytime hike, but the hikers became lost and could not see when night fell.
Then at 10:30, Monday night, their 9-1-1 call for help came in:
“911 what’s your emergency?” we are lost at the gorge. Were at natural bridge and we’re lost at the bridge somewhere Our phone is at 1%. We are lost at the gorge,” A hiker is heard saying to a 911 dispatcher.
“Please get somebody to help us. We tried to walk back down and we’re lost and this phone is about to die. Please,”
“We actually turned our lights off just to get an idea what these guys were going through. Held our hands in front of our face couldn’t see them it was so dark,” Powell County Search and Rescue worker Rick Hamon said.
Hamon said the extreme darkness actually helped the hikers, forcing them to not move from their location and requiring whistles and vocal screams to locate the boys.
Hamon said the hikers panicked and lit their shirts and pants on fire as a means to have light and to ward off potentially dangerous animals.
“They had burned everything they had to burn, by the time we got there….They were screaming. They were screaming like someone threw them a life preserver” Hamon said.