On July 18th, 2023 at 2:20 in the afternoon, the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office was advised of 2 adult males and a 10-year-old juvenile who were hiking in the Sky Lakes Wilderness when they became lost and were without water. Using GPS coordinates located on a social media app that family members shared with the lost hikers, Klamath County Search and Rescue (SAR)responded to the area and deployed “5” hikers into the wilderness with an anticipated “12-15” mile hike ahead of them.
As the search began, the hikers lost cellphone service. Search managers received a text from the lost hikers a few hours later and were able to determine their location had changed and they were now on the Pumice Creek trail on the side of Goose Egg Mountain. Using radio communications, this information was relayed to the search team and they responded to the newlocation where they met up with the lost hikers. SAR teams were able to provide water and helped the hikersto a trailhead where they were met by family members. Even with spotty communications, the hikers had closed the distance by a couple of miles and saved SAR searchers a few miles of hiking.
The hikers became lost when their cellphone could not update the mapping system they were using. The Sheriff’s Office SAR Search Managers would like to encourage people to use GPS based mapping systems when enjoying the remote areas Klamath County and not rely on cellular devices for this type of information. There are large amounts of Klamath County that doesnot have cell phone coverage.
“Thank you Klamath County Search and Rescue. This group is comprised of volunteers who undertake scores of missions like this each year to ensure the safe enjoyment of our recreational resources. We would be lost without them.” (Sorry for the pun…but it’s true)
-Sheriff Chris Kaber
Press release from Klamath County Sheriffs Office.