Officials in Colorado are asking hikers to do one thing after a person was lost in the woods for 24 hours – pick up the phone.
Lake County Search and Rescue said in a Facebook post a person went missing on Oct. 19 while hiking on Mount Elbert.
The hiker started on the trail at 9 a.m. and did not return to their lodging by 8 p.m. that night. Rescuers attempted to reach the hiker via their cell phone, but were unsuccessful.
Five rescuers deployed to look for the hiker that evening, but had not located them by 3 a.m. the next day. Rescuers again went out to look for the hiker on Oct. 20 when the person who reported the hiker missing advised they had returned.
The hiker told LCSAR they had gotten lost on the trail and spent the night trying to get back on the right trail and had no idea rescuers were out looking for them.
"One notable take-away is that the subject ignored repeated phone calls from us because they didn’t recognize the number," LCSAR said in a Facebook post. "If you’re overdue according to your itinerary, and you start getting repeated calls from an unknown number, please answer the phone; it may be a SAR team trying to confirm you’re safe!"
After a flurry of comments on the post about how a hiker with a phone could be lost, LCSAR made an additional statement.
"Please remember that what seems like common sense in hindsight is not obvious to a subject in the moment when they are lost and panicking."
Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Hiker missing on Colorado trail ignored calls from rescuers