A little after 2 p.m., on August 2, Kane County Dispatch received a 911 call about an overdue hiker at The Wave. The 18-year-old caller, Jakub Prazuch, stated that he and his 68-year-old grandfather, Wojciech Prazuch, both from Poland, had hiked to The Wave. On the way back they became separated, and the boy returned to the parking lot where he called 911.
Three Kane County deputies and a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) ranger responded immediately to the scene. Kane County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was activated, and a team responded from Kanab to help.
The first deputy on scene visited with Jakub and then began hiking towards Twin Buttes where he said he had last seen his grandpa. Other responders followed close behind. The grandpa was located near Twin Buttes. Before responders found him, he had wandered off, but some other hikers found him, gave him some water, and helped him get back to Twin Buttes area where Deputy Landon Cram met him. The man was hot, tired and dehydrated. He was given more water, Gatorade and some snacks before deputies Cram and Willis slowly walked the elderly man back toward the Wirepass trailhead.
An emergency medical crew from Bigwater Fire met them on the trail and were able to evaluate the hiker and assist in walking him back to the parking lot. Once they arrived back at the parking lot, it was determined the man was in good health and would not need any additional medical attention and could leave with his grandson.
There are a couple of side notes to this story. This is a very common scenario that Kane County and the BLM encounter at least weekly if not daily. BLM volunteers had encountered the pair of hikers earlier in the day and had given them water as they were not prepared for this hike. They also did not have a permit to hike to The Wave, so they were cited for no permit.
The positive side note is that the BLM has recently installed a cell phone booster at the Wire Pass parking lot to help hikers and responders with communications.
Thanks to all the dedicated responders and volunteers who can be credited with another successful save.