Washoe County search and rescue assists Reno couple near Incline Lake | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Washoe County search and rescue assists Reno couple near Incline Lake

Two Reno-area residents received some help from search and rescue Tuesday after becoming lost in the backcountry near Incline Lake.

The couple, described as being in their 60s, went out in the early afternoon Tuesday, March 20. They became disoriented and eventually called 911 around 5 p.m., according to Sgt. John Hamilton with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department.

The cellphone used to make the call had about 15 percent battery left. The other phone was dead.

Officials were able to get a ping off the phone and plot out the couple’s approximate location — a crucial factor considering the adverse weather Tuesday night, said Hamilton.

Members of Washoe County’s hasty backcountry team were able to trek in and locate the couple southwest of Incline Lake. Rescuers led the couple out around 8:30 p.m.

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Neither person required medical attention, although they were both cold and tired, Hamilton said.

The incident, he added, is a reminder to be prepared when heading out in the backcountry. The best step adventurers can take is to plan for the unexpected.

“Use common sense and always plan for things to happen, and have an answer in your head for ‘what am I going to do if …?’ That will keep you out of trouble,” Hamilton said.

Having and emergency locator device or knowing how to pull coordinates from a cell phone also are critical.

“It will help us find you … That could be the difference between life and death,” Hamilton said.

BACKCOUNTRY SAFETY

Backcountry explorers should:

  • Check the forecast before heading out
  • Dress appropriately
  • Bring food and water
  • Tell somebody about where you are going
  • Have a cellphone or GPS locator
  • Make sure the cell phone is charged