Using cell phone technology and good old fashioned searching, Search and Rescue teams found two McKinleyville residents who had been stuck in the snow and lost near the Siskiyou/Modoc county line Monday evening.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to the situation around 1 a.m. on Feb. 20, when the wife of David Martin, 46, called to say her husband and a friend, Georgie Short, 65, were lost in the area, said Sheriff’s spokesperson Allison Giannini.

Martin’s wife said her husband called her from his cell phone to say he was lost, and that he had to walk approximately nine miles from his vehicle to get cell service. He also stated that he could see light from a possible town, the wife reported.

Cell phone technology narrow the search area to the eastern area of Southern Oregon or Northern California, said Giannini.

The Siskiyou County SAR team was assisted by Modoc County SAR, California/Oregon SAR, Klamath County SAR, United States Forest Service Law Enforcement and Lava Beds National Park Rangers. The California Highway Patrol helicopter was  also requested, however they were unable to respond due to weather conditions.

Snowmobiles were used to traverse the area, and Martin and Short were found at approximately 8 p.m.
about six miles south of Doorknob Snowmobile Park on Forest Service Road 49 in the Modoc National Forest within Siskiyou County.

They were in their vehicle and both were in good physical condition, Giannini said.

They were transported to Tulelake  for the night, pending their trip home.

“I would like to thank all of the SAR volunteers and agencies that assisted in locating these missing persons, whose lives were endangered because of the extreme environmental conditions in the area within which they were found,” said Lopey. “The superb efforts of the SAR and other agencies involved led to a favorable outcome and both of the lost citizens have been reunited with their loved-ones.”

Lopey added this is a good opportunity to advise travelers to Siskiyou County to plan their trips and to notify family and friends of their planned route, departure and estimated return times.

“It is recommended that rural, isolated snow-covered secondary routes be avoided this time of the year if possible, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area,” Lopey said. “While enjoying winter weather activities please remember to dress accordingly. Visitors to mountain areas should layer clothing, wear winter-durable footwear, and carry winter caps and gloves.  Carry extra emergency supplies in your vehicle such as blankets, flashlights, water, food, first aid kit, a charged cell phone, and a secondary mode of communication if possible.  

“Travelers should realize that some areas of the county may not provide cell phone coverage.  Ensure your vehicle is properly serviced and in good working order.  Vehicles should have serviceable mud/snow tires and traction devices should be carried at all times, especially if you do not have a 4-wheel drive vehicle.  

“Vehicles should also contain a full tank of gas prior to traversing local highways or mountain roads in case you are stranded by an emergency situation.  If possible, carry a shovel in the event your vehicle becomes stuck in the snow.  Carry prescribed medicine if applicable in the event you are stranded for an excessive period of time.

“It is also a good idea to check local weather and roadway conditions prior to leaving on your trip.  Travelers should realize that often times in mountain areas, weather and roadway conditions can change rapidly with little warning.”