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Hikers Rescued by Search & Rescue After 19-Hr Mission in Boulder Creek

8:39 PM · Aug 17, 2022

Two hikers were rescued by Douglas County Search and Rescue in the Boulder Creek Wilderness area after activating a SPOT device SOS notification. On Monday, August 15, 2022, at 12:15 pm, 9-1-1 dispatchers received information from the SPOT Monitoring service that two hikers had pressed an S.O.S. alarm indicating they needed emergent assistance. The GPS coordinates from the SPOT device indicated the hikers were roughly in the middle of the Boulder Creek Wilderness area on the Umpqua National Forest. Search and Rescue crews were activated and responded to the incident. Due to the terrain and the location where the hikers were located, it took searchers until 7:30 p.m. to reach the them. It was determined the hikers, 27-year-old Scarlet Kelley and 22-year-old Kita Hastings, both of Roseburg, were slightly dehydrated and underprepared for the conditions but were otherwise stable. Searchers provided the hikers with food, water and clothing before beginning to lead them out to a trail where horseback teams were standing by. Horses were able to get positioned as closely to the hikers as possible, due to the efforts of recent volunteer work to clear a trail system in the wilderness area. Again, due to difficult terrain, downed trees, hazards and darkness it took approximately 7.5 hours for the rescue teams to reach the waiting horses. Once at the horses, the hikers were led out by searchers on horseback arriving to safety at 7:34 am Tuesday morning. In total, the mission lasted just over 19 hours. The hikers were released to a friend who transported them home. "The volunteers of Douglas County Search and Rescue and our partner agencies work and train hard for these types of missions and their efforts show," Lt. Brad O'Dell said. "I couldn't be prouder of this team." Douglas County Search and Rescue was assisted by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Oregon State Police - Fish & Game Division, U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement, the Oregon State SAR Coordinator and the SPOT Device Response Center. Search and Rescue would like to remind the public that your safety is our concern, but it is your responsibility. Here are some ways that you can be better prepared in the event something goes awry on your next outdoor adventure. 1. Be prepared with knowledge and gear. Become self-reliant by learning about the terrain, conditions, local weather and your equipment before you set out. 2. Share your plans. Tell someone where you are going, where you plan to hike or recreate, when you will return and your plan for emergencies. Leave a map, if possible. 3. Stay together. When you start as a group, stay as a group and end as a group. Pace your adventure to the slowest person. 4. Know when to turn back. Weather changes come quickly in the mountains. Fatigue and unexpected conditions can also affect your adventure. Know your limitations and when to postpone the trip. The outdoors will be there another day. 5. Plan for emergencies. Whether you are out for an hour or a multi-day trip, an injury, severe weather or wrong turn could become life threatening. Don’t assume you will be rescued; know how to rescue yourself. Always carry equipment in case you have to spend the night. Have food, water, shelter and weather appropriate clothing. Carry a first aid kit and a 6. Communication devices. A cell phone alone does not suffice as an emergency plan. A large portion of our remote areas do not have cell phone coverage. Whichever communication device you decide to carry, make sure you have sufficient power. An alternate power supply is a good idea. If you choose to recreate alone, satellite communication/tracking devices or personal locator beacons are a valuable tool and provide rescuers a better opportunity to find you. Via Douglas Co. Sheriff's Office