A New Jersey State Police helicopter helped Mahwah and Bergen County police officers locate two hikers lost in the Ramapo Reservation Saturday night, Mahwah Police Chief Jim Batelli confirmed.
According to police, two sisters, ages 19 and 22, from Oradell, were hiking in the Reservation Saturday afternoon, but became disoriented after nightfall.
“Two Mahwah officers and one Bergen County officer were dispatched to the scene but even using cell phone coordinates it became apparent the [women] were far into the reservation and off any designated trail,” Batelli said.
The women were led back to a trail by following police sirens, Batelli said. The women were navigating themselves using a cell phone flashlight that was running out of battery, he said.
“An NJSP helicopter was dispatched and given the hikers’ last cell phone coordinates and using an FLIR [night vision camera] they were able to locate the [two women] and direct them to the gas pipeline clearing where Mahwah officers located them,” Batelli said.
The women started hiking at about 3 p.m., and were released shortly after 9 p.m., after emergency responders had medically cleared them, police said.
The lost hikers and police search teams had to deal with darkness, falling temperatures and 15-20 mph winds during the rescue, police said. The local police response was directed by Lieutenant Stuart Blank.