A hiker who became lost on a mountain reportedly ignored calls from rescuers because he didn't recognise the number.
The unnamed bloke was lost for 24-hours while hiking on Mount Elbert in Colorado in the US, but repeated attempts from teams to contact the man proved fruitless because he refused to answer the calls from unknown numbers, authorities have said.
In a statement, Lake County Search and Research (LCSAR) said the man set out at 9am on 18 October but by 8pm, he had not returned.
Despite 'multiple attempts to contact the subject via their cell phone' they were unable to, and five members of LCSAR were sent out to help try and locate the hiker.
At 3am on 19 October, and with still no sign of the man, the would-be rescuers returned and a new team went out to search a different area.
However, at 9.30am, the missing man returned to his lodging and explained he'd 'lost the trail around nightfall and spent the night searching for the trail, and once on the trail, bounced around onto different trails trying to locate the proper trailhead, finally reaching their car the next morning, approximately 24 hours after they'd started their hike'.
He was completely unaware members of a search and rescue team were out looking for him and hadn't answered calls from the unknown number.
LCSAR has used the incident to highlight the importance of picking up your phone if you happen to end up lost while out hiking - even if you don't believe that anyone is out searching for you.
In a statement, LCSAR went on: "One notable take-away is that the subject ignored repeated phone calls from us because they didn't recognise the number.
"If you're overdue according to your itinerary, and you start getting repeated calls from an unknown number, please answer the phone; it may be a SAR team trying to confirm you're safe!"
The statement, which was shared on Facebook, was hit with numerous angry responses from people who were quick to condemn the hiker for not picking up their phone.
But LCSAR called on people to show some understanding, commenting: "Please remember that what seems like common sense in hindsight is not obvious to a subject in the moment when they are lost and panicking.
"In Colorado, most folks who spend time outdoors have a good understanding of the search and rescue infrastructure that is there to help them, but this is not the case nationwide."
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Topics: US News