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37 hikers rescued from Mt. Major over weekend
Movva Rao Nageswara, 48, of Switzerland and his daughter, Raasida Gaugier, 19, of Medford, Mass., began their hike at 4:15 p.m.
However, according to state Fish and Game officials, that was actually an old boundary line and the two eventually became lost and called 911.
Meanwhile, about 8:30 p.m., 911 dispatch received a second call about lost hikers.
They reached the summit and took some time to enjoy the views and pick blueberries.
When they started their descent, however, they took the wrong trail – one leading away from the trailhead.
The searches were made difficult because of a lack of cell phone coverage and intermittent radio reception, according to Fish and Game officials, who eventually were called in to assist.
Priority was given to the larger group, which was located just after 1:30 a.m. the next morning by an Alton firefighter.
The group was in high spirits, gathered around a fire singing songs.
The group was then transported back to the trailhead, where they were returned to their vehicles.
Fish and Game officials said both incidents could have been avoided with good planning and preparation.
Hikes often take longer than anticipated and weather is unpredictable. Having appropriate gear aids in safety, they advise.
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