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Lost hunter rescued after cell call to 911

December 03, 1999

CLEAR SPRING - A lost hunter was rescued Friday night after using his cell phone to call for help.

An unidentified man from the Smithsburg area had been hunting in the Indian Springs state hunting grounds all day Friday. When night fell he realized he didn't know how to get back to his vehicle.

Disoriented and alone, the hunter called 911 on his cell phone at about 7 p.m.

"He reached the top of the mountain and couldn't find his way down to his vehicle," said Jennifer Swisher, the Washington County Fire and Rescue dispatcher who answered the man's first call.

Swisher, who declined to identify the hunter, said the man told them he was not hurt, just lost.

Three four-wheel-drive vehicles began searching for the man, blowing their sirens every once in a while. Meanwhile, the lost hunter used his cell phone to stay in touch with the emergency dispatchers and let them know when he heard the sirens coming closer.

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At about 8:20 p.m. Robert Scott and his wife, Robin, members of the Clear Spring Ambulance Club, found the hunter.

Robert Scott said they saw the hunter's flashlight once they got close to him.

He said the hunter had extra clothes and was well prepared for the adventure, but could have easily hurt himself wandering around the thick brush.

"He just lucked out," Robert Scott said.

"He was lucky he was in a good area without dead spots."

Dead spots are areas where cell phones will not work because they are out of transmission range.

- Dan Kulin

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