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HCSO drone helps find lost hiker

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A drone from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Drone Unit helped locate a hiker who had become lost in the Weeki Wachee Preserve.

HCSO Deputy Public Information Office (PIO) Michael Terry said that around 10:30 a.m. on June 24, the dispatcher received a 911 emergency call from a 36-year-old man who said that he had become disoriented before becoming lost in the woods without food or water. According to the caller, he had been in the woods since 6:30 a.m.

In response, Deputy W. Harsanyi of the HSCO’s Drone Unit arrived in the area where the lost hiker was believed to be and launched a drone to search the area.

After the caller advised the 911 operator that he could hear the drone nearby, Harsanyi activated the drone’s speakers and began making announcements.

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After the hiker confirmed that he could hear those announcements, deputies on the ground located the man about 2,200 feet into the woods and led him out of the Preserve.

The hiker refused medical treatment at the scene, Terry said.

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