It was looking bleak for a lost hiker in a Myakka City preserve before three rescuers from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office found him.
For their efforts, Deputies Ray Sanders and Billie Wilson were named Sheriff’s Office Deputies of the Month for April and Aviation Unit Pilot Steve Wellman was named Sheriff’s Office Employee of the Month for April, said Manatee Sheriff Brad Steube.
The three were called to Myakka City April 14 to search for a missing hiker stuck in a swampy area of knee deep water, Steube said. Wilson located the victim far off the trail. The victim was too weak to walk out and too deep in the brush to be carried.
As darkness approached, a plan was formulated to lift the man into a helicopter. Sanders, Wilson and Wellman coordinated the rescue and the man was later treated by emergency medical personnel, according to Steube.