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Updated: Searchers Spot Missing Backpackers On Ledge In Kings Canyon National Park


This map depicts the general area of Kings Canyon National Park where three missing backpackers are thought to be. NPS map.

Searchers looking for three missing backpackers in Kings Canyon National Park spotted a trio of men matching the missing hikers' description perched on a ledge above Roaring River Falls around noon Thursday. Due to their location, rangers were working on a technical rescue to get the three off the ledge.

The group, which was reported missing Monday night, was seen by the park helicopter on a the ledge approximately a quarter-mile from Cedar Grove. Preliminary contact was made with the group from the helicopter, and all appear to be in good physical condition, the park said.

The three were expected to be off the ledge by late Thursday afternoon. At that time positive identification of the three will be made, the park said.

The search effort was launched Tuesday for Jordan Zeman, 25, Jake Zeman, 23, and Lanier Rogers, 25, all of southern California. The trio began their trip from Road’s End in the Cedar Grove area of Kings Canyon last Wednesday with the intention of walking out on Monday. Family reported the backpackers missing around 10 p.m. Monday.


hope they get out okay,but when are we going to charge for these rescues,i know it must take a lot of resourses to do these things...

they do charge.... it's in the park access fees.

Do you think each person should be sent a bill for every emergency service requested? Say, when someone is breaking into your home and you call the police part of the information you give will be a credit card number so they can charge you for sending police to your house. No credit card, sorry no service.

Why should there be a charge?

going hiking in the parks,is quite different then someone breaking into your home,and by the way the park service fees dont cover (folks) that stray from where they are supposed to go...if you want an adventure then pay to get rescued period...

The big problem with charging for rescues is that you get people who might not consider calling for the rescue if they know they'll be charged. Who's going to call for help from any public service agency if they know they're directly going to be charged for it.

Various fees and resources go into search and rescue funds - like an insurance premium where the costs are spread out with many people who might need them.

Of course New Hampshire apparently tried the "charge the rescued party" route and are getting much deserved criticism. They're trying to charge $25,000, which was the cost because they had to import a helicopter from out of state.

The article notes that some states might charge but have a fairly low cap. If it were only $500 - I wouldn't be phased. Some people might think long and hard if they know they might be charged $10,000.

Just in case you people are not aware, one of these men is a police officer and a iraq vet..both very under paid jobs.. this man has served us as we are now serving him, remeber what comes around goes around.. humans dont turn their back on other humans in need regardles of the cost.. and by the way most search and rescue members are volunteers and as far as the helicopters and so on we dont charge crooks for the use of a helicopter in a police pursuit.

$10,000 is nothing in a rescue, that wouldn't even cover the costs of starting up the helicopters. Generally costs are covered by the county in which the subject went missing. The county has the option of charging the county of residence for the missing person, but this doesn't really happen ever. There have been instances where missing persons have been charged, especially if it wasn't their first time. People's families would call, regardless of the cost. What happens is that uninformed people think that SAR is easy and expect them to be there. I'm glad the boys are OK, really, but they got themselves into a bad situation and made some really bad decisions even in the planning stages of their trek.

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