Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were called out this week to search for two runners lost in the forests around Olalla Lake Reservoir. Two on-duty Search and Rescue deputies made cellular phone contact with one of the victims. Due to weak reception, an emergency location “ping” of their phone was unsuccessful. The lost subjects did not have food, water, extra clothing, or flashlights. The rest of the Lincoln County Search and Rescue team was activated and members quickly responded to the scene.
By 10:45pm, several search and rescue ground search teams began searching the forestland around the reservoir. Using descriptions given by the lost joggers of their immediate surroundings and using sound sweeps consisting of voice calls and whistles, ground searchers were able to make verbal contact with the victims shortly after midnight.
A short time later, joggers were found. They were assessed by the Search Team and were escorted back to the Search and Rescue command post by 1:30am. No injuries were sustained by the lost subjects or by Search and Rescue personnel.
Search efforts were aided by the victim’s decision to stay in one place. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team would like to remind us all that if you are lost and can call for help, stay in a safe place and do not move around so searchers can locate you quickly. They say the worst thing you can do is to continue trying to find your own way out while others are still searching. Too often searchers are circling one way while you circle back another or take a path off in a different direction.
Another tip is to know the terrain and how long it’ll take to get through it. If you start to bump up against nightfall, find a place where you can get cell service (higher ground) and call 9-1-1. 9-1-1 can “ping” your phone which enables them to get a good estimate of where you are. Once that’s accomplished, sit down – relax – and await the arrival of Search and Rescue.