Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

By Mark Dykes

Search finds man alive at Anchor Dam

Located halfway through canyon below the spillway


Hot Springs County Sheriff's Office

The Hot Springs County Sheriff's Office teamed up with Search and Rescue and Guardian Flight to search for James Michael Pigott, who was found alive after having gone missing for a couple days.

According to information from Hot Springs County Deputy Sheriff Jerimie Kraushaar, a call was received about 11 p.m. Saturday from a business owner, who was concerned she had not seen a regular customer, 50-year-old James Michael Pigott of Texas, for a couple days. She also noted his vehicle was located by Anchor Dam.

The hotel Pigott was staying at had not heard from him either for a few days.

Pigott's vehicle was located in the parking lot by the gates at Anchor Dam, Kraushaar said, and its location prompted a call to Hot Springs County Search and Rescue as well as Guardian Flight out of Riverton.

Due to the initial call about Pigott coming in at night, those involved with the search did not begin until around 7 a.m. Sunday. Both agencies and Kraushaar first searched the east side of Anchor Dam, along the spillway. The deputy noted the area is rocky, with loose flagstone and shale.

After Guardian flew over the area for about an hour with no success, and men on the ground had not found him, a search began along the South Fork of Owl Creek and ended when they located Pigott - exhausted, dehydrated and hungry, but alive - about halfway through the canyon.

Kraushaar said in his condition Pigott might not have been able to get out on his own. The deputy pointed out he had been out there for a few days, and likely would not have survived another, though the weather was to his benefit, with warm days and not overly cold nights.

Guardian assisted in Pigott's extraction, as well as some medical treatment, before he was transported by ambulance to Hot Springs County Memorial Hospital.


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