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Contact: Andy L. Fisher, 520 733 5139
Contact: Ray O'Neil, 520 733 5110
Saguaro National Park News Release
For Immediate Release 17-24
May 30, 2017
Contacts: Andy_L_Fisher@nps.gov, 520 733 5139 or
Ray_O’Neil@nps.gov, 520 733 5110
Possible Heat Related Visitor Fatality in Saguaro National Park
Tucson, AZ – On the afternoon of Saturday, May 27, Bradley Hughes of Geneva, Illinois was found deceased on the Gould Mine Trail within the Tucson Mountain District (west) of Saguaro National Park. Cause of death is unknown, though the 34 year old male had an empty hydration bladder and no other water with him when he was found. Heat or dehydration may have been a factor.
“We offer our sincerest condolences to the family and loved ones of Mr. Hughes,” said Superintendent Leah McGinnis. “We are all reminded that extra precaution should be taken while recreating in the desert during the summer months.”
High Temperatures on Saturday were in the mid-90s, though it is not uncommon for temperatures to reach into the 100s during the months of May and June. The combination of very hot and very dry weather can quickly lead to dangerous situations. The park would like to advise visitors to be extremely careful if they choose to hike this time of year.
“Get an early start and plan to be back before 10am,” according to Chief Ranger Ray O’Neil. “Carry more water than you would think would be necessary and be sure to turn back before that water is half gone. Check the weather forecast. If predicted high temperatures are above 110° F / 43°C, consider delaying your hike entirely until the weather cools down.”
The desert is beautiful this time of year, but can be unforgiving when things don’t go according to plan. The park would also like to remind visitors to let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 400+ national park sites and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities