Home / National News / Virginia Fire Department Uses Drone to Locate Dehydrated Hiker in Woods


(BEDFORD COUNTY, Va.) — A hiker who became lost in the woods this week off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia was located by rescuers with the help of a drone.

Rescuers responded on Tuesday after receiving a call from a woman who said she became lost after attempting to follow a culvert off the roadway in Bedford County, Virginia, according to a report by ABC News affiliate WSET-TV.

Even though a clear view of the ground was blocked by trees, the woman was able to hear the buzzing sound of the new Bedford Fire Department drone from the ground, and tell dispatcher Michael Miller on the phone when it was near her.

“You’re going to hear a buzzing noise, like a bunch of bees,” Miller said on the 911 call.

“I hear that and it’s back to my right,” the hiker responded.

Miller, who already pinged the woman’s cell phone, was able to relay her location to search teams in the area.

“We kept a visual on the drone,” Montvale Fire Chief Scott Hawkins told WSET-TV. “We indicated 200 yards down in the woods and I directed the team to go down 200 yards.”

Searchers were then able to reach the woman, who had become dehydrated, in under an hour, WSET-TV reports.

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