Lost hiker saved by Mowbray Mountain Fire crews - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Lost hiker saved by Mowbray Mountain Fire crews

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN. (WRCB) -- A Chattanooga hiker is resting at home, after being lost in the woods for more than eight hours.

He called his family just before his phone lost power, when he couldn't find his way out of pocket wilderness.

Friday night, Channel 3 sat down with the man who found the hiker and his dog.

"He called me about 9:30 and said that he was lost on Mowbray Mountain and his cell phone was about to go dead," Lisa Andrews says.

That's the last time she heard from her son Brian, who was hiking through Pocket Wilderness Thursday night.

"Scary, very scary, just knowing that your son is out in the wilderness," Andrews says.

Dozens of first responders searched for the 32-year-old.

"His foot print on his boot was very distinctive, to the point that I wanted to see the bottom of his shoes when we found him," Assistant Chief of the Mowbray Mountain Fire Department, Dusten Woodard says. "It matched exactly. Everywhere he went you could tell where he'd been to."

The search was called off early Friday morning, because it was too dark for crews to see.

"(The hiker) burnt his shirt, his undershirt, his boxer shorts, and his socks," Chief Woodard says. "When he was burning his last sock, he decided that instead of trying to use it for light, he should probably build a fire."

At first light, Dusten Woodard continued the search and it wasn't long before he made a discovery.

"A chocolate lab comes running out at me, and he was running right behind it," Woodard says.

Woodard says Andrews delayed his rescue by leaving the last place his cell phone worked.

"Instead of staying there, he basically hiked another five or six miles in several circles," Woodard says. "If he would have stayed there, we could have been there in 10 minutes."

Andrews' mother says it could happen to anyone, and is just thankful her son made it out with no injuries.

"We're very, very thankful to them and their crew for what they did," Andrews says.

Woodard says Pocket Wilderness can be dangerous at night because of limited visibility. Many of the trails are narrow and have steep drop offs.

Woodard also says snakes are a major concern right now.

He says Andrews was lucky he wasn't injured.

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