Police rescue lost hikers with drone aerial support

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Police rescue lost hikers with drone aerial support

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service collaborated in the rescue of a family, following a hiking misadventure, over the weekend.

At 5:30 pm on Saturday, 17th February, 2024 the E999 Command Centre was contacted by a family of hikers who became lost in the vicinity of Mt. St Benedict. The Northern Division Operational Centre was informed and they immediately activated the TTPS Coastal and Air Support Unit and the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service (TTFS).

According to the information provided, at around 4:40 pm, the family of four, a husband, wife, and their two young children started a hike along the Northern Range, in the vicinity of Mt. St. Benedict, to the popular flag site. On their way back they became lost and contacted E999.

A search and rescue plan was formulated by Inspector Rampallard and a party of officers from the Air Support Unit, Fire Sub Officer (Ag), John-Baptiste Reid, and a team from the TTFS LSAR1 and Fire Sub Officer (Ag.) Olliverie and a party from the Tunapuna Fire Station and Inspector Beepot.

While piloting the drone over the mountainous terrain, Inspector Rampallard spotted the family in a forested area. The information was then downloaded from the drone to pinpoint the exact location of the hikers, who were rescued at 9:18 pm by a team consisting of the TTFS Land Search and Rescue Team, a volunteer resident of El Pilar Heights, and volunteer hunters.

The family was examined by TTFS personnel and appeared to be in good physical health. They were offered assistance to be taken to the nearest health facility but declined. Assistance was then provided to the family to retrieve the vehicle and be reunited with the rest of their family.

Air Support Operations were coordinated by ACP Tactical Support, Thompson, and ASP Coastal and Air Support Unit, Walker. North Central West Division response was coordinated by ACP Subero and Snr Supt Smith. Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service response was coordinated by ACFO (Ag.) Sampson.