A hiker lost for 24 hours ignored rescuers' phone calls because they didn't recognize the number

Originally published at: A hiker lost for 24 hours ignored rescuers' phone calls because they didn't recognize the number | Boing Boing

2 Likes

Tell me that spoofed phone numbers/scammers/telemarketers are a cancer without telling me.

63 Likes

I don’t answer unrecognized numbers, but I will listen to a voicemail if they leave one, on the off chance that it’s actually important and not “the IRS coming to arrest me”.

Maybe SAR should get in the habit of leaving a callback number.

49 Likes

Everyone keeps calling this guy dumb.

But you get calls from an unknown number, even repeatedly. And 99% of the time it’s just a robocall.

An autodialer is not getting you out of a sticky situation.

On top of that he had a working cellphone, and had located a marked trail. So from his perspective he weren’t exactly screwed. Keeping that phone powered and working would be more important than answering a call that’s likely to be useless to you.

Even the SAR folks here. The problem is not that he didn’t answer. It’s that the plague of spam calls makes it pointless to answer. What I’m wondering is why didn’t they try a text?

50 Likes

And sometimes when you’re lost, a little duct-cleaning comes in handy.

6 Likes

This is key. He didn’t necessarily think he was lost. And, just maybe, didn’t care and so didn’t assume that others cared. You make a great point:

why didn’t they try a text?

The fault here is squarely with SAR. They could have texted. They could have called someone this guy knew and had that person try to call.

34 Likes

Agreed with others here, this represents a systemic failure to manage spam calling in even the most basic ways. Spammers always leave a voicemail for me, even if it’s just 6 seconds of silence. SAR can’t send a text?

22 Likes

He was overdue and did not have the decency to let people know he was lost but he was okay. Clearly someone missed him or someone reported a vehicle at a trailhead. He had signal, he could have called someone.

This hiker needs some basic lessons.

33 Likes

So, now I know that when I get lost on a hike I will spend my dying hours answering dozens of calls offering me ONE FINAL CHANCE to renew my car warranty.

30 Likes

For those wondering, from the Lake County Search and Rescue…

Facebook — Mozilla Firefox

42 Likes

Ah, but scammers will spoof your area code and prefix, but will randomize the last 4 digits, even when the same scammer is calling your phone in rapid succession. [I once got hit with 11 scam calls in one hour in just this fashion - the US phone system is utterly borked.]

18 Likes

They did.

19 Likes

I would think the SAR number is listed. Why would an emergency group have an unlisted number? Why would their number show up as Unknown?

2 Likes

This puts some doubt on the explanation the hiker gave. Even though the messages probably still identified unknown phone numbers, but If got a text message saying “You have been reported as Missing” I would call my family, not that number. Besides, if he received calls, why did he not call/text anyone?

5 Likes

I would probably have my phone turned off, at least until I thought I was in danger, and it sounds like the “lost” hiker didn’t think they were in that much danger.

6 Likes

And sending text messages!

ETA I see @Ryuthrowsstuff and @Les_Pane beat me to it.

4 Likes

My turn:

7 Likes

Procedure when hiking, even if experienced, is leave an itinerary and if your overdue notify the person you left the itinerary with so that person knows you are alright. If you don’t contact them that person knows to contact the authorities. If you don’t have someone you can leave your itinerary with you can leave it with the authorities.

19 Likes

Well he really is a dumb fuck then, if he didn’t read and/or didn’t respond to text messages saying ‘call us - people are searching for you’ or the equivalent.

10 Likes

What’d they text though? Cause seems odd. If I got something that said “This is Emergency People, your mom and your dog reported you missing, are you OK”.

I would at a minimum contact my mom and my dog.

Might be a situation where he was too butch even read a text message?

I’m changing my assessment to burying bodies.

13 Likes