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Search & Rescue

Marines & Sheriff work together to rescue stranded civilian in desert on Marine Base

May 27, 2017

MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER, Calif – On May 24 at about 4:13 p.m. a woman was reported missing to the San Bernardino County Sheriff - Morongo Basin Station. The woman, Johnnie Savage (age 57 of Chloride, Arizona) reportedly went to the Ludlow area on May 23, 2017 to look for rocks to collect. She was expected back, but had not returned.

Given Savage’s suspected location, Deputies from the Sheriff’s Barstow station were dispatched to the call. Sheriff’s Aviation responded to the area to search for Savage. Deputies made contact with Savage by cell and obtained her GPS coordinates. Savage reported her vehicle was stuck. She added that she was out of water and believed she was hallucinating.

Savage’s location was found to be on the Marine Corps Base in Twentynine Palms , which is in the Morongo Basin. Deputies from the Joshua Tree station took the investigation over. Deputies determined Savage was in is a restricted fly zone area, which prevented the Sheriff’s Aviation from entering. Members from the Marine Corps Search and Rescue flew to the area to assist in the search. Paramedics were dispatched to the area to assist with any medical conditions Savage might be suffering from.

At approximately 6:51 p.m., Savage was located by the Marines, who dropped water down to her. The Marines granted Sheriff’s Aviation temporary access into the area to recover Savage. When Sheriff’s Aviation recovered her, Sheriff’s Aviation flew Savage to the Paramedics as she needed an immediate medical evaluation. Savage was transported to Hi-Desert Medical Center for treatment. It is unknown what Savage’s medical conditions are, however it is believed there were no life-threatening conditions.

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