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Contact: Colleen Bathe, 559-565-3131
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, CA – The body of a 53 year old male hiker was found by searchers at Panther Creek on the Middle Fork Trail in Sequoia National Park on the afternoon of Thursday, May 12, 2016. The search began after another group of hikers he had passed on the trail reported by satellite phone that his backpack was found unattended near the campsite and two water bottle lids were found at the top of a waterfall. The NPS swiftwater rescuers donned wetsuits and located the body under water at the base of the waterfall. The body was transferred to the Tulare County Coroners Office.
- General Info: The hiker was backpacking alone on a trail where the temperatures exceeded ninetydegrees. It appears the hiker had run out of water and was very tired upon reaching his potential campsite, according to other hikers that had seen him earlier on the trail.
- Overall Search Staffing:A total of 36National Park Service staff and one helicopter worked on search-and-rescue and recovery operations from Wednesday, May 11 to Thursday, May 12. Search efforts were led by Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks have experienced drought for the past three years. This year, with increased precipitation, creeks and rivers are running higher. Please use caution while swimming and when crossing streams and waterways.