ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Karen Renshaw and her fiance, Russell Vandemeer, both of Oklahoma, and their three dogs were rescued Monday night after they became lost at White Sands National Monument, the Alamogordo Daily News reported.
According to a news release issued Wednesday by the national monument, the couple had hiked into the park around noon Monday so Vandemeer could propose to Renshaw, the Daily News said.
“They newly engaged couple then attempted to hike back to their car, but were unable to find their way back. Rather than continue to wander (and become even) more lost, they contacted a cousin via cell phone and requested that help be sent,” the news release said.
Park Service personnel, who were alerted around 4 p.m. Monday, joined with Alamo West Volunteer Fire and Rescue, Holloman Air Force Base and Fort Bliss personnel to locate the couple, the release said.
An F-22 Raptor from Holloman was diverted from a training mission, and two unmanned aerial vehicles joined in the search, and the couple was spotted by the F-22 pilot who relayed their location to Army Blackhawk helicopters, and the couple and their dogs were rescued and examined for possible exposure to below-freezing temperatures, the Daily News said.
The couple extended an invitation to the Blackhawk crew to attend their wedding, the paper reported.