Correction: Lincoln County Search and Rescue remained in the search area throughout the multi-day operation.
Waldport area men were rescued yesterday near the southern end of the Drift Creek Wilderness after a canoe trip down Drift Creek ended a little early. They had put in off 1000 Line Road south of Toledo Sunday morning, planning on having someone meet them 20 miles downstream near Waldport, at Bayview and Drift Creek.
James Jone’s wife said she got nervous when they failed to show up at the meet-up site, so she called 9-1-1. The call prompted a large response by local search and rescue teams from Lincoln, Benton, Linn and Lane Counties. They searched late Sunday night and into Monday. A Coast Guard Helicopter flew two sortis. They came up with nothing. Central Coast and Seal Rock Fire, Toledo Fire and Corvallis Mountain Rescue also took part.
Then Lane County Search and Rescue began searching Drift Creek from the south, putting in at May Road. It wasn’t long before they found Jones and his co-worker Eric Inglis. They were in good shape. They said their canoe got smashed against some rocks, forcing them to bail out and walk to the creek bank. They said they spent the night on the bank, then got moving again Monday morning, walking several miles downstream toward Waldport. That’s when search and rescue personnel found them.
Lincoln County Sheriff Dennis Dotson and Search and Rescue Sergeant Adam Shanks congratulated and expressed their appreciation for the quick response and tireless efforts to find the two canoeists.
Despite long, strenuous hours in the wilds of the Drift Creek wilderness, Lincoln County Search and Rescue personnel remained on the scene throughout the night and all the next day.
Oregon State Police, the Coast Guard, Central Coast, Seal Rock and Toledo Fire and Rescue along with Corvallis Mountain Rescue also took part in the search for the two men.