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Going to the Sierra? These Tips Could Save Your Life.



Photo of Cody King who was found by the Fresno County Sheriff's search and rescue team
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Missing in the Dinkey Creek area for the better part of a week, 24-year-old Cody King of Clovis was found Sunday morning by the Fresno County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team.
Aided by a search dog, rescuers finally tracked down King alive and uninjured in a cabin. The odyssey began on Wednesday when King and his girlfriend got their Subaru Forester stuck in the snow.
While the girlfriend stayed with the car and was rescued Thursday morning, King went looking for help and got lost.
The search operation for King involved dozens of deputies and volunteers on foot, horseback, and off-road vehicles — and in helicopters. And, while the rescuers saw shoe tracks, they didn’t find King until Sunday.

What to Do If You Become Lost

“The Sheriff’s Office is happy to have found Cody King safe and healthy,” the search and rescue team said in a Facebook post. “We would like to suggest some tips to our community members should they ever become lost in a similar situation.”
— Leaving markers can be a great help to those trying to find you. Use sticks to spell out words or draw arrows showing the direction you are located.
— Circle your shoe tracks and tie objects or clothing to trees.
— Get to an open area and stay there so you can keep an eye out for search teams or flag down aircraft. Flashing any shiny object or a mirror is an excellent way to capture the attention of aircraft.
— Yelling or whistling is a fantastic signal. Loud noises carry long distances in the mountains and can attract rescuers to your location.

More Hiking Tips

Here are more tips from the Inyo County Search and Rescue team:
— Before you go, tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.
— Don’t panic or make hasty decisions if you are lost or injured. Slow down and make a plan of action. Prepare for night time before night falls so you are not caught without shelter.
— Prevent the need for a rescue. Stop and rest before you get tired. Give your body time to digest food before moving too much. Fix small problems while they are small.
— Pay close attention to the weather forecast before selecting times and routes to hike.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email