Backpackers rescued from Gold Creek northeast of Missoula

Three people on a multi-day backpacking trip were rescued northeast of Missoula on Wednesday after the group activated a personal SOS beacon.

Missoula County Sheriff’s Office said it received a distress signal from the Gold Creek area at around 1 p.m. on July 27. From the personal device transmission, rescue crews determined that three hikers needed assistance, including emergency medical help.

Missoula Life Flight took off to find the hikers, whose distress signal also sent GPS coordinates. By 3:30 p.m, the air crew located the hikers. Rescuers then met the hikers on the trail and treated one person for heat-related injuries.

Missoula Search and Rescue, Fish Wildlife & Parks, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service joined in to help get the hikers down the mountain safely. Jeanette Smith, spokesperson for Missoula County, said people should consider bringing emergency GPS in the wilderness.

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“When you are going out, be prepared,” Smith said. “For a large place like Missoula County, it’s important to have a plan in case things go wrong.”

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