8 from La. Boy Scout troop missing in Ark. forest /The Scout Troop has been Found Safe!!

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Normal 8 from La. Boy Scout troop missing in Ark. forest /The Scout Troop has been Found Safe!!

Post by raine1953 on Tue May 03, 2011 5:40 am

(AP) LANGLEY, Ark. (AP) — Authorities are scaling back search efforts for a group of Louisiana Boy Scouts believed to be stranded in an Arkansas forest.

Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said a helicopter sent out to look for the six Scouts and two troop leaders stopped because of low clouds and strong winds Monday. The helicopter will try to resume its search Tuesday if weather permits.

Search crews overnight will patrol nearby roadways, but no one will be sent into the woods on foot.

No one has heard from the eight missing campers since they arrived at the Ouachita National Forest on Thursday. The remote area has little cellphone coverage.

Authorities believe the group got cut off by rising water levels.

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Normal Re: 8 from La. Boy Scout troop missing in Ark. forest /The Scout Troop has been Found Safe!!

Post by Praying For Faith on Mon May 02, 2011 11:48 pm

I hope they are found soon.

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Normal Re: 8 from La. Boy Scout troop missing in Ark. forest /The Scout Troop has been Found Safe!!

Post by Wrapitup on Tue May 03, 2011 2:58 am

LANGLEY, Ark. - Authorities searched an Arkansas wilderness area Monday for a group of Louisiana Boy Scouts believed to be stranded behind rain-swollen waterways.

No one has heard from the six Scouts and two troop leaders since Thursday, when they arrived at the Albert Pike Recreation Area, a remote area with little cellphone coverage. State police dispatched a helicopter to help locate the boys, but strong winds and low clouds forced the chopper to turn back before it reached the forest. Search crews planned to patrol nearby roadways overnight late Monday and early Tuesday, but no one was to go into the woods on foot in the dark.

Last June, flash flooding along the Little Missouri River valley floor killed 20 people in the same recreation area. The Scouts were experienced backpackers for their age — 14 on average and equipped with survival skills — and it was believed they camped along the 26.8-mile Eagle Rock Loop above the flood plain.

Art Hawkins, the executive director of the Scouts' Evangeline Area Council in Lafayette, La., said authorities believe the Scouts were cut off by rising water on the Little Missouri River, whose level tripled over the weekend, or one of its many tributaries.

The Scouts and their two leaders, from Troop 162 in Lafayette, had planned to leave the recreation area between breakfast and lunch on Sunday and arrive in Louisiana that evening. When no one heard from them by late Sunday, Boy Scout officials contacted local authorities, Hawkins said.

One park official, who spoke with the Scouts on Thursday, remembered seeing the boys' vans, and spotted the vehicles outside the Winding Staircase entrance to the Eagle Rock trail late Sunday night, Hawkins said.

"It was still pouring down rain (and) pitch black last night, so there was really no way to start a search-and-rescue effort," he said.

Instead, search teams headed toward the forest after daybreak Monday, but bouts of heavy rain have their efforts. Authorities had not located the boys — or even made contact with them — by nightfall Monday. Meanwhile, the children's parents traveled from Lafayette to Langley to wait for word.

"We're still in a holding pattern waiting for the rain to pass," Hawkins said.

Authorities hoped to try again Tuesday with the helicopter, which had to land some 50 miles away from the forest in Hot Springs because of the weather. Searchers on the ground planned to scale back their efforts overnight, save for vehicles patrolling nearby roadways with the hope someone will come across the campers.

"The bird right now is our best option in locating them," Montgomery County Sheriff David White said.

The boys had previously hiked in the recreation area. Knowing that cellphone service is shaky at best, the group left behind detailed plans, Hawkins said.

"They're going to be well-equipped to handle the weather and handle another night in the woods," Hawkins said.

Though the boys were familiar with the campground, Hawkins said there were concerns over how much food they had left.

"This is a group that is going to be able to fend and use the survival skills they learned through scouting," he said. "They're probably going to be hungry, but I'm sure they're going to be able to scrounge up enough food to be OK."

The Little Missouri River at the Albert Pike campground was at 3 feet to 4 feet when the Scouts arrived, but jumped to 8 feet Sunday morning after more than 7.5 inches of rain fell Saturday and Sunday. It topped out at 11 feet early Monday, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Geological Survey. It fell steadily Monday, but was still at 6 feet two hours before sunset.

More than a dozen of the stranded boys' relatives drove from Louisiana to Arkansas and stationed themselves outside a Langley camping store, near the recreation area, waiting for the latest news. They planned to stay the night at a local church, said pastor Graig Cowart. Volunteers set up cots at Pilgrim Rest Landmark Missionary Baptist Church and brought in food and water for the families.

"They don't know anything. They haven't heard from nobody. They're devastated," said Cowart, who counseled families at his church after last summer's deadly floods.

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Why would this troop go camping knowing of the poor weather conditions? As a parent, I would probably NOT have let my son go.

I think they are alive; cold, wet, hungry..but w/be found alive if the weather clears up tomorrow.

We even got some rain today. First time in months!!! Was only 52 degrees here as a high!

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Post by raine1953 on Tue May 03, 2011 3:15 am

My son was in the Boy Scouts and went on these camping trips, if the weather was to be bad I would not have let him go. One time when they had gone, they hiked into some area and early in the morning we had two pretty big earthquakes. I was so scared, I knew they were in the San Gorgonio mountains but I didn't even know where that was. I called the Scout Leader's wife to find out what I could and she told me I was the only Mom to call and she was worried too. By then we knew where the center of the quakes were, one was San Gorgonio (no lie!) and Yucca Valley (where my daughter was) and that one was big. I was very upset until I heard back from the Scout Leader's wife a couple of hours later.
I really hope these boys and adults are OK!

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Normal Re: 8 from La. Boy Scout troop missing in Ark. forest /The Scout Troop has been Found Safe!!

Post by Wrapitup on Tue May 03, 2011 3:35 am

Raine, I could literally feel your fear when reading this. Couple Hugging

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Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
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Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!

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Post by Slys Hunny on Tue May 03, 2011 11:34 am

I saw on the news this morning the boys have been found and are all fine!!!

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Post by Guest on Tue May 03, 2011 11:45 am

:cheering:

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Normal Re: 8 from La. Boy Scout troop missing in Ark. forest /The Scout Troop has been Found Safe!!

Post by raine1953 on Tue May 03, 2011 3:36 pm

Lafayette Boy Scouts found, on their way home

Updated 10:15 a.m.

The Arkansas National Guard took off in helicopters this morning and located the Scouts around 2:20 a.m. They were able to drop a duffel bag with food, supplies and a walkie-talkie to let them know they would return at daybreak. The National Guard did return around 6:40 a.m. and completed the rescue mission within about 45 minutes.

Hawkins said he believes the Scouts and leaders are now on their way home in their individual vehicles, since all of the families had gone to Arkansas to wait out the situation. The Scouts will be going straight home and there will be no formal gathering today, although there are tentative plans for a press conference Wednesday morning.

There are no injuries, except for one minor scrape. Hawkins said everyone was “dry and warm and hungry” when they were rescued. They were brought to a staging area at the Winding Stairs entrance to the Eagle Rock Loop upon being rescued.

“They weren’t nervous. They had trained for this,” said Sandy Trahan, wife of one of the Scout leaders. “He told me they were more worried for us.”

Sandy Trahan said she knew her husband’s training and that of the other Scout leader and the Scouts themselves would keep them safe.

“In the back of your mind, you think they’re OK,” she said. “I felt they would find them. They knew where they were going, but there’s still some fear in your mind.”

Updated 8 a.m.

LODI, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas State Police say helicopter pilots working overnight spotted a group of Louisiana Boy Scouts stranded by high water in a wilderness area, and officials in Arkansas have confirmed that the boys and their troop leaders have now been safely removed from the wilderness area.

Spokesman Bill Sadler says a trooper at the scene reported that National Guardsmen spotted the group from the air.

Montgomery County Judge Alvin Black told The Daily Advertiser that the boys were located around 3 a.m.

Rescue-and-search teams caught a break, Black said, when cloud cover cleared from rains that had poured down on the area for the past several days. A National Guard helicopter crew, originally grounded until 10 a.m. Tuesday morning due to the weather, was approved for flight in the middle of the night as clouds cleared sooner than expected.
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Normal Re: 8 from La. Boy Scout troop missing in Ark. forest /The Scout Troop has been Found Safe!!

Post by raine1953 on Tue May 03, 2011 3:39 pm


There are more pics at the above link.

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Post by raine1953 on Tue May 03, 2011 3:39 pm

I am so glad they found them!!! So good to get good news!!

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Post by Wrapitup on Wed May 04, 2011 2:19 am

Amen!!!! We can use some good news around here!

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Prayers for our little HaLeigh Cummings, wherever she may be!!

Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
-- Dale Dauten--

Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!

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Post by Praying For Faith on Thu May 05, 2011 2:38 am

I agree, I am so thankful that they were found safe and sound. Looks like some very good training they all had.

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