PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A man who spent 7 hours away from his car – walking into the wilderness and open waterways – was rescued by Oregon State Police troopers near Crater Lake last week.
The situation began on December 1 around 8 a.m. when OSP troopers were dispatched to conduct a welfare check along Highway 230 about 6 miles north of Carter Lake Highway.
“The weather was turning bad and the temperatures were dropping extremely fast,” state police said in a Facebook post.
Troopers learned that the man had walked away from his vehicle around 2:30 a.m. to go look for help and that he hadn’t returned.
“This area of Jackson County is extremely remote, no cell phone coverage, and has little to no traffic,” OSP said.
The initial trooper who responded, Senior Trooper Greg Costanzo, got backup from two OSP Fish & Wildlife Troopers, Senior Trooper Damion Hillyer and Senior Trooper Josh Nugent, who knew the area.
The man was finally located 7 hours later and 2.5 miles from his vehicle. He was only identified as “Rick.”
“’Rick’ simply said, that he was extremely grateful because he was ‘lost’ and ‘scared,’” according to OSP.
“This was a true team effort that ended without any injuries or loss of life,” the agency said in its post.
Oregon State Police stressed that people know the weather and know your route before setting out on a journey, especially in the state’s rural areas.
“Inform someone where you are going and when to accept you to arrive. Be prepared for winter travel by dressing appropriately, and by having these items with you: a blanket, flashlight, phone charger, snacks and water.”