RAPID CITY, S.D. – As we enter day four of this blizzard, we’re hearing about a successful rescue by Pennington County authorities.
Shortly after 3:00pm Thursday, Pennington County Search and Rescue was notified of a missing person near the Wyoming & South Dakota state line. He had gone out early this week to gather firewood and had not been heard from since.
The first day he was out, his vehicle became stuck. He was able to use it to stay warm until it ran out of fuel Wednesday morning. Cell service being very poor in that area, he could not make phone calls and could not reliably text, but was finally able to get enough signal to send a single, short text message for help before his phone battery died.
When that message was received, authorities were promptly notified. Historical data from his cell phone provider helped narrow the search down to a radius of about 20 miles from a particular cell tower, but that was still a very large area. Information from his text was able to be combined with the cell data to give a starting point for the search.
All responders were hindered by the recent snow accumulation which ranged from about 3 inches in the south to near 48 inches in the north of the search area. Resources from Weston County, Custer County, and Pennington County orchestrated the large search and the man was located by Pennington County Search and Rescue around 8:00pm this evening.
After an extraction by snowcat, he was transferred to Hill City Ambulance for further medical attention and transport to the hospital.
Search and Rescue wrote: Our thanks to Custer County Search and Rescue, Custer County Sheriff’s Office, Custer County Dispatch, Hill City Ambulance, Hill City Fire, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, Pennington County Dispatch and Weston County responders for helping make this a successful search and rescue.