Story last updated at 2:15 p.m. Friday, July 5, 2002

Camera guides rescuers
The Seward Phoenix Log
In addition to saving images, makers of disposable cameras might consider marketing their product as a lifesaver, too, since a camera flash helped guide rescuers to four lost hikers on Mount Marathon in Seward last week.

The hikers called police dispatch around 11:30 p.m. June 24 using a cell phone, and a dispatcher instructed them to take a picture using the group's disposable camera. Firefighters watched with binoculars and were able to pinpoint the hikers' location.

The camera was used several more times as firefighters proceeded up the mountain.

Seward Fire Chief Dave Squires said his crew doesn't typically like going up the mountain in the dark for a rescue, but the group was only wearing shorts and T-shirts and was getting cold in the rainy conditions.

"I don't like going on the mountain at night. But when they call and say they're hanging on by their fingers, we go," Squires said.

By 1 a.m., two of the hikers had made it down the mountain, but the other two were still stranded. Rescue efforts were hampered by the dark and snow on the mountain.

Eventually, the two were rescued using a Pavehawk helicopter dispatched from Kulis Air National Guard Base. Though conditions were not released, rescuers said at least one man got hit in the face by a rock and another injured his finger.