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Arizona, Catalina Mountains, Pima Canyon

Arizona, Catalina Mountains, Pima Canyon. On 23 February Robert Schultz (22) and his brother William Schultz (17) were hiking near the trail in Pima Canyon when Robert fell and cut his foot. Both were deaf mutes. William installed “shoelace tourniquets” on Robert’s legs and hiked out for help. Upon arriving at the road, he discovered that he did not know how to operate their motorcycle, and much time was lost in getting it started. Upon arriving in Tucson he was immediately arrested by City Police for driving without lights (he didn’t know how to operate

them) and taken to the station where his parents were called. At this time it was discovered that William was trying to give the police information through notes of his injured brother, the Sheriff was alerted, and Southern Arizona Rescue Association was called.

Even though William Schultz had come out Pima Canyon he insisted that his brother was on Cathedral Peak, some 6 miles east of Mt. Kimball which adjoins Pima Canyon. Repeated questioning did not shake William’s conviction concerning his brother’s location, and he pointed out the spot on the map. Subsequently it was learned that William could not read maps. After much discussion it was decided to search Pima Canyon first, but upon arriving near the end of the canyon this seemed fruitless. The search party hiked back out, arriving at 5:00 A.M., and prepared to move base operations to Sabino Canyon at 8:00 A.M.

An H-43B helicopter from Davis Monthan AFB was secured, and as it was preparing to air-lift the first team to Cathedral Mountain, William Schultz suddenly realized his error, pointing to Mt. Kimball on the map. Two rescue teams were taken to a heliport near the summit, and the chopper started to search again Pima Canyon. It soon located Robert Schultz and took him aboard with the winch and sling. Injuries were not serious, and the “shoestring tourniquets” turned out to be bandages.

Source: Raymond R. Neal, Southern Arizona Rescue Association.

Analysis: The above abbreviated account does not adequately convey the extreme difficulty of trying to obtain accurate information from this deaf-mute. The resulting confusion in the operation resulted in much lost time and false starts. The search party in Pima Canyon passed near Robert Schultz twice, but being deaf-mute he either did not realize they were there or could not make noise to attract them. Ray Neal recommends that all deaf-mutes carry a whistle when going into remote areas, and that when questioning deaf-mutes the interrogation should be conducted by someone who understands their sign-language.