Shortly before 9:30pm Monday night a call came into dispatch of some overdue missing canoeist with one possibly being injured. The information given to dispatch was the group had planned to float Big creek. Since there are two creeks named Big creek in Cleburne County, both Pine Snag/Lobo and Wilburn Fire Departments were put on standby while the local launching areas were checked. They attempted to ping the cell phone (of one of the kayakers) for a better location. Pine Snags launch areas were checked and clear of any vehicles left by the party. The information gathered from pinging the cell phone narrowed down the search area and focused the search to the Big Creek in Wilburn. The lack of cell service made an exact location of the cell phone not possible. Upon checking the Wilburn launch areas, the parties vehicle was located and the ground search was started from there. Due to the lack of access points to the creek and thick vegetation Survival Flight was requested to do a fly over of the creek to help locate the group and then be on standby for a possible transport to the hospital. Shortly before 11:30 pm Survival flight located the group and helped guide the ground crews into their location. The group was checked out by the medical team all were in good condition except one which needed immediate transport out. Survival flight lifted off with one patient just before midnight.
Crews on scene were Wilburn, Pine Snag/ Lobo and two members from Cove Creek.
Pine Snag Fire Chief stressed to the public be careful. “This is our third such incident this year and we’re just now beginning the tourist season.”