A North Bend Coast Guard aircrew medevaced a 50-year-old male hiker Saturday after he went missing in the Willamette National Forest near Oakridge.
The missing hiker was reported to be suffering from dehydration and extreme hypothermia before being rescued.
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 launched from Air Station North Bend and conducted and extensive search until nightfall with negative results.
Search and rescue ground crews located the missing hiker just before midnight on Friday and requested a Coast Guard medevac to be conducted at first light.
The Sector North Bend aircrew arrived on scene at 7 a.m. and hoisted the patient from the ground and transported him to emergency medical technicians awaiting at Eugene airport.
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," said Lt. Cori Sanchez, MH-65 pilot. “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. Always be aware of surroundings and be mindful of dangerous terrain. Hikers should have the proper equipment and a reliable means of communication in case of an emergency.