DACULA, Ga. – Lena Patrinco’s cell phone was losing battery life quickly, but she had just enough to call 911.
Patrinco and her 4-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son had been lost in the woods of Harbins Park, in Gwinnett County, Ga., for hours Wednesday afternoon. She called 911 at approximately 3:30 p.m., and reported that she and her children had been lost in the park since 1 p.m., and did not have food or water for an extended period of time, police said.
Gwinnett County Police’s helicopter searched the 1,960-acre Dacula, Ga., park, located at 2995 Luke Edwards Road. There are more than 24 miles of trails for biking, hiking and horseback riding.
During the search, the woman stayed on the phone with dispatchers and relayed when she heard the helicopter. That coordination, police said, aided the pilots in pinpointing her location through the thick forestry within 10 minutes.
The aviation unit ultimately spotted the displaced family around 4 p.m., 200 yards off the main power line easement bordering the park.
The pilots gave hand signals to direct the woman towards the already-in-place officers who were close by on a trail.
As soon as Patrinco and her children were rescued, her phone battery died.
Police said residents to plan their trips to the park with adequate water, food, maps, fully charged cell phones and first aid kits.