Hanford Boy Scouts Save L.A. Couple

Hanford Boy Scouts Save L.A. Couple

A boy scout troop from Hanford came to the aid of a couple near the summit of Mount Whitney suffering from altitude sickness.
A boy scout troop from Hanford came to the aid of a couple near the summit of Mount Whitney suffering from altitude sickness.

Boy Scout Troop 496 is sponsored by the Mormon church in Hanford. The boys were on a six day, 50 mile hiking trip when the weather took a turn for the worse 14,000 feet up on the summit of Mount Whitney.

"There was hail, thunder clouds in the distance and there was static in the air. And these signs all over the place that say when you see these things you need to get down the mountain," James Myers, an eagle scout said.

On the way down the troop warned other hikers of the danger and advised them to turn around. They ran into newlyweds Jessica and Rodney Aguilera just a quarter mile from the summit.

"When we found them they didn't have any water, they didn't have any food, they didn't have any sleeping bags because they weren't planning in staying more than a day," Myers said.

The couple was in their honeymoon. Jessica wanted to climb Mount Whitney to take a rose from her mothers memorial service to the summit. But the day before they went scuba diving. Now she had altitude sickness and was vomiting.

"Your head feels like the worst migraine you've had in your life," Jessica Aguilera said.

Jessica says the scouts were the only ones who stopped to help. They helped her walk for hours until they safely got to a campsite. Other scouts went gathered food from other hikers. They found a tent and sleeping bags for the couple and said a prayer before everyone headed to bed.

"They took care of me like my mother did when I was sick. That kind of nurturing. That blows my mind," Aguilera said.

James said he was able to use his scout training in a real life situation. Jessica was severely dehydrated, had fainted, and needed help walking.

"The first thing we tried to do is get some salt in her system so we gave her pretzels. We got her water. But we made her drink it slowly," Myers said.

Bishop Jonathan Buckley says he never even had to tell the troops what to do. They organized themselves and took care of a couple in need.

"I couldn't be more proud. It shows their integrity and courage," Buckley said.

The next day Jessica says she felt better. The troops sent the couple on the rest of their journey with food, water and memories that will last a lifetime.

"Our grandchildren's, grandchildren will be telling this story," Aguilera said.
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