Jul 12, 2012 8:06 PM
TUCSON - The Pima County Sheriff's Department has released an audio file of the 911 call placed by a boy scout who was lost in a remote area of the Santa Rita Mountains last night.
According to PCSO, the 14-year old boy and seven other scouts were on a camping trip yesterday at a campsite in the mountains. The boys are between the ages of 12 and 16, and they were on the trip with two counselors. After having dinner together, the boys were all dropped off at their own individual campsites, in isolated areas, around 6 p.m. last night.
The boys were all given some food and water and told to fend for themselves for the night, in order to earn a merit badge. But a few hours into the night, one of the boys called authorities to say he was scared and needed to be picked up. Around 10:00 p.m. PCSO and Border Patrol launched a search for the boy. He was located at Box Canyon on Greaterville.
According to PSCO's Public Information Officer, Thomas Peine, the boy was found with food and water but that, "it has to be taken into account that the area where he was found is a known corridor for human and drug smuggling."
That boy, as well the seven other scouts were all accounted for before midnight. The scout leaders who dropped the boys off were also found and spoke to authorities.
Today, Ken Tucker, Scout Executive for the Boy Scouts of America's Catalina Council, released the following statement:
Yesterday, as a part of a weeklong camp experience, several boys in a Scout troop were working toward their Wilderness Survival Merit Badge in the Gardner Canyon area. During this optional activity, Scouts build a shelter and sleep in it overnight. The participating Scouts were located approximately 50 yards from each other and from the main campsite. Scouts were given instructions on how to get back to the main campsite and were checked on frequently by adult leaders. One of the boys left his campsite and called 911 when he was unable to find his way back. Local authorities and Scout leaders were able to quickly locate the boy who was unharmed.
The health and safety of our youth members is of paramount importance to the Boy Scouts of America. Scouting provides its members and volunteers with extensive guidelines and policies as well as training opportunities for the safety if its members in Scouting activities and programs. We will carefully evaluate this situation to see if there are any safety enhancements that may be appropriate.
News 4 Tucson has exclusive interviews with the boy scout who was lost and his mother - tune in tonight to watch.
Pictured: Pima County Sheriff's Thomas Peine speaks to the press during the search and rescue operation.