Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Surveyors rescued after becoming lost in cloud-blanketed Stewart Canyon

PALA - Sheriff\'s dispatchers used cell phone technology to help deputies locate two men who became lost on a cloud-blanketed hillside today while surveying a landfill project southwest of Pala Indian Reservation.

James Plunkett, 30, and Jason Wold, 25, were wet from rain, dressed in light clothing, and were becoming exhausted after losing their bearings in the Stewart Canyon area, said Sgt. Bob Bishop of the San Diego County Sheriff\'s

Valley Center Station.

A surveying team leader contacted the Sheriff\'s Department to report the two men missing about 4:50 p.m., Bishop said.

Plunkett and Wold had been placing markers for in the area for the landfill project when they lost their way, and once in contact with the sheriff\'s communication center were not able to see any lights because they were in deep brush and trees, Bishop said.

Deputies responded to the area and a helicopter crew was not requested due to rain and low-lying clouds, Bishop said.

Sheriff\'s dispatchers worked with the cell phone service provider, Verizon, and managed to ping a signal off Plunkett\'s phone, Bishop said.

This narrowed the search area to about one square mile.

Deputies hiked up Stewart Mountain, cutting a trail through tall brush and trees, Bishop said. They eventually contacted Plunkett and Wold and assisted them down.

Neither man was seriously injured, Bishop said. They were wet, cold and very grateful to be rescued.

 

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