Child Saved by Glowstick Meets Rescuers

Full scale search ends with a happy reunion thanks to a glow stick

By Lori Preuitt
|  Thursday, Oct 13, 2011  |  Updated 8:31 AM PDT
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Ava poses with the men who helped find her after she wandered off during a camping trip. The pilot credits a glowstick necklace for helping him spot her.

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A little girl who got lost during a camping trip earlier this month was able to thank her rescuers in person.

Ava Chotai, 5,  got lost while camping with her family on Kings Mountain near Woodside the first weekend in October.

Ava's family called 911 after they were unable to find her on their own at dusk. Huddart Park rangers and members of San Mateo County Sheriff's Department searched on the ground, while a CHP helicopter took to the air. In all, about 75 people turned out to help look for Ava.

Just before midnight, a pilot wearing night vision goggles spotted a light source on the ground in a steep gorge area about a mile from the family's campsite. That light source was a glowstick necklace Ava was wearing for fun.

The pilot directed ground crews who quickly found the child scared and cold, but physically okay.

On Tuesday, Ava, her parents and her two little brothers traveled to the San Carlos airport to meet the ground and air team who searched for her that night.

Eva got to sit in the rescue helicopter and pose for photos with the rescue team.

The Kings Mountain camping area is approximately 900 wooded acres and contains areas of heavy forest, vegetation and steep ravines. This+is+the+view+from+above+of+Kings+Mountain+in+San+Mateo+County.

You can see from the photo inset, the area is thick with trees.

The air crew said that it was like looking for a needle in a haystack searching for the child.

They credit the glowing jewelry for helping them  bring a happy ending to the story.

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