COOS BAY, Ore -- A United States Coast Guard aircrew rescued a 50-year-old male hiker Saturday after he went missing in the Willamette National Forest near Oakridge, according to Coast Guard officials.
The man was dehydrated and had extreme hypothermia when he was rescued, officials said.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend received a request for aerial assistance from the Oregon State Search and Rescue Coordinator on Thursday after ground crews located the man’s parked car and backpack near a trail head.
A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew started the search Thursday and into the night but couldn’t find him.
Search and rescue ground crews found the missing hiker just before midnight on Friday and requested a Coast Guard medevac to be conducted the next morning.
The Sector North Bend aircrew arrived on scene at 7 a.m. and hoisted the man from the ground. He was then transported to the Eugene Airport where first responders were waiting for him.
The man was then transferred by ambulance to Sacred Heart Medical Center for further care.
"Effective coordination with our partner agencies ensured that this person’s life was saved," Lt. Cori Sanchez, an MH-65 pilot said. “It’s lucky he was found in time and we could assist in getting him to higher medical attention rapidly.”
The Coast Guard encourages hikers to take caution when venturing into the outdoors by always staying aware of surroundings and being mindful of dangerous terrain. Hikers should have the proper equipment and a reliable means of communication in case of an emergency.