Two nineteen-year-old hikers who hadn’t been seen since before Christmas were finally spotted by a Coast Guard helicopter on New Year’s Day.
Rescuers were able to locate hikers Christian Farnsworth and Parker Jasmer because the missing teens had carried a huge “SOS” message in the snow on Swastika Mountain where they had been camping.
They had given themselves the “best chance of being rescued,” said Coast Guard Lieutenant Maggie Champin, by leaving the signal for rescuers, staying near their vehicle and keeping close to major logging roads.
The pair been reported missing around December 23. They had been expected home on December 29, but hadn’t checked in with relatives at home in Oregon for several days.
They had been trapped by heavy snow, which also made conventional rescue attempts impossible.
Christian Farnsworth's mother Katrina Crawford told reporters that she was grateful for the Coast Guard’s help: "It's incredible,” she said.
“The Coast Guard got involved and I heard that's rare but I think they understood how dire the situation was”.
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His sister Aria Bucko told local radio station KEZI: “I was just in my kitchen and I broke down on the floor and I was like, ‘Okay, he’s going to be okay, we’ll be fine’”.
The Coast Guard helicopter took Christian and Parker from Umpqua National Forest to nearby Eugene Airport, where they were checked over by medics and found to be in reasonable health despite their ordeal.
They hadn’t eaten in several days, and had been using their car’s heater to stay warm until they ran out of petrol.
Rescuers Oakridge Fire & EMS wrote on their Facebook page “Found Safe!! – they said they were VERY cold but healthy!!”
The lads’ 2003 red Chevy Blazer LS remains on the mountain.
Amazingly, the Sector North Bend Coast Guard's rescue team not only managed to locate the two boys – they also spotted two other hikers on the mountain who needed help.
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