78-year-old man rescued after running out of water on South Mountain


by azfamily.com

Video report by Erika Flores

Posted on May 31, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 3 at 12:23 PM

PHOENIX -- A 78-year-old man was rescued Saturday after spending several hours on South Mountain without water.

Phoenix firefighters said the man started his hike around 4 a.m. and called his son about five hours later saying he ran out of water. His son started searching for him and eventually called the Phoenix Fire Department for help.

Rescue crews began searching for the man about 1:40 p.m.

Although the man routinely hikes South Mountain, firefighters feared they would find him in critical condition due to the heat, his lack of water and his medical history.

The high temperatures were also a concern for search crews on the ground.

A park ranger finally found the man resting in a shaded area near the 1-mile marker of San Juan Road.

"They told us to kind of start scouting out, that they heard he was out on a paved road," park ranger Christine Romo said. "As I was driving, I'd seen where units were going here and there ... and something told me, my gut instinct, to go look out back on San Juan Road and that's what I did."

The man was stable when he was found, according to firefighters.

"I ran out of water. With no water, you can't go no place," said the man, who identified himself only as Edmund. "I found this road and I started heading back."

He was transported to a local hospital as a precaution for dehydration.