A pair of 19-year-old hikers were found safe after being missing for almost a week in Oregon.
Christian Farnsworth and Parker Jasmer had gone camping near Swastika Mountain, located 32 miles east of Eugene, around Christmas Day but failed to return by Dec. 29, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a news release.
The Lane County Sheriff’s Office was notified that the pair was still missing on Dec. 31 and began a ground search.
Heavy snowfall in the area covered the mountain roads and made the ground search difficult, so the sheriff’s office called the Coast Guard to help find the missing hikers.
The two men were easily spotted because they wrote “SOS” in the snow, which caught the attention of rescuers.
#BreakingNews #USCG Sector North Bend MH-65 aircrew assists @LaneSheriffOR in locating 2 missing hikers near Eugene, OR See hoist video and read more at https://t.co/1Qw0NjHbkE #ProtectingThePNW #PartnershipsMatter pic.twitter.com/pcXqREE6qP
— USCGPacificNorthwest (@USCGPacificNW) January 2, 2022
“It’s incredible. The Coast Guard got involved and I heard that’s rare but I think they understood how dire the situation was,” said Christian Farnsworth’s mother Katrina Crawford. “I am so grateful to the Coast Guard.”
According to Coast Guard officials, the two did not need any medical attention. They said they were flown to Eugene airport where they were met with Lane County Sheriff’s deputies to confirm their identities.
“These young men did a lot of things right to give themselves the best chance of being rescued,” said Lt. Maggie Champin, MH-65 aircraft commander for Sector North Bend. “By writing ‘SOS’ in the snow, staying near their vehicle, and staying near logging roads, we were able to find them relatively quickly. We recommend hikers carry personal locator beacons while out in the backcountry.”
During the search for the hikers, the aircrew located two other individuals in distress and gave their location to the sheriff’s office ground team, the Coast Guard said.