3 Valley men rescued after Jeep gets stuck in snow

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The following is a press release from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office:

CROWN KING, Ariz. -- On February 10, 2009, at approximately 6 P.M., Yavapai County Sheriff's Office Communications received a cell phone call from a man who was stranded with two other males on Forest Road 362. The men were in a Jeep vehicle and attempting to reach Crown King after driving on roads north of the Lake Pleasant area. They were now stuck in the snow after traveling for several hours trying to find their way to civilization. As search and rescue personnel were being notified, YCSO Communications learned the men had sustained two flat tires, did hot have any food or water, and were wearing inappropriate clothing and shoes for the current conditions. Although they had matches in their possession, there was no means to start a fire as the wood around them was wet. The cell phone was now their only link to a rescue.

A Forest Patrol Supervisor was notified and attempted to drive towards the area where the men reported being stuck. Late in the evening, the Supervisor became disabled due to the snow and immediately contacted the YCSO Jeep Posse to continue rescue efforts. The Jeep Posse mobilized and began their travel from the Wagner area, eventually locating recent tire tracks just after 4 A.M. At approximately 5:45 A.M., Jeep Posse members located the 3 men in good condition and began a nearly 3 hour drive to Prescott where family members were waiting. The men were identified as 26-year-old Rogelio Ibarra from Phoenix, 37-year-old Miguel Gonzalez from Mesa, and 30-year-old Nikolas Bogianos from Surprise.

YCSO Search and Rescue personnel want to remind those seeking an off-road adventure to make sure they know the area of travel and always consider current and expected weather conditions. Even if you have an "off-road" vehicle, there will be times roads become unsafe to travel no matter what the vehicle capability. As a result, it is best to avoid the situation by not taking chances on these roads in the first place.

With another potential weather event this weekend, all motorists should consider carrying extra survival gear just in case you become disabled. Some of the items should include a GPS enabled cell phone, back-up cell phone battery, water, warm clothing including gloves and blankets, food, matches, flashlight, whistle, and a compass. Also remember to keep your vehicle in good working order and carry tire chains if you expect snow conditions during travel.

Remember, rescuers may not be able to get to you right away, so having this gear will extend your chances of survival until help arrives.