A woman who went missing at Sequoia National Park was returned safely this Monday after rescuers saw an SOS spelled out with rocks while flying overhead.
56-year-old Mary joanna Gomez, a traveling nurse based in San Francisco, last spoke to her daughter via text on Thursday, when she sent photos of Kings Canyon. Fears arose after she failed to report in for work on Friday, something which prompted her family to report her missing to the San Francisco Police Department.
Rescue teams swept the area in search of Mary but were unable to find her until the rocky SOS was spotted by a C-130 plane. According to USA TODAY, she was found four miles from where rangers had found her car and the rocks where around three-and-a-half miles from the nearest trail.
Rangers said she was found in steep terrain.
This must have been particularly scary for Mary's family given the previous reports of a hiker's death at the same park after he was deemed to be missing a few months ago.
Ling Dao was reported missing at the Inyo County Sheriff's Department on June 14 after he did not return to his residence. His body was found on the north side of Mount Whitney four days later, taken to the Ash Mountain Helibase and handed over to the Tulare County Coroner's Office.
Mary has her vivid imagination to thank for her rescue as the rangers would probably not have found her otherwise. Of course, her rescuers are due credit for spotting her signal, which simply could not have been ignored once seen.
The rangers reunited Mary with her family on Monday evening and it must have come as a huge relief as this could have easily been another tragic story.
Source: USA TODAY