WARRENTON, Ore — A Coast Guard aircrew found and rescued four men from the banks of the Sandy River near Troutdale, Ore., after an early Tuesday morning search.
The four men, all in their 20s, were reported overdue by a friend after they didn’t arrive at Dabney State Park at an arranged time Monday night.
The Coast Guard received a request for helicopter assistance from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office River Patrol at 12:21 a.m. Tuesday. After the MCSO coordinated assistance through the Oregon State Emergency Operations Center and the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, an aircrew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, from Coast Guard Sector Columbia River, launched at 4 a.m.
At 10:25 p.m., Monday, personnel from the Coast Guard 13th District Command Center, in Seattle, located a last known position by pinging a cell phone and the aircrew was able to locate the four men just a half a mile from the cell phone position. The aircrew used a forward looking infrared camera and night vision goggles to locate the men.
The aircrew spotted the men at 5:19 a.m., and landed on the sand bar shortly after spotting them. The four men were loaded into the helicopter and transported to the Troutdale Airport where they didn’t need any medical attention.
“We are glad we were able to use the tools and resources available aboard the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to assist our local and state partners in finding the missing men,” said Lt. Levi Rusch, Jayhawk pilot.
The four men were last seen at 6:30 p.m., Monday at Oxbow State Park and were planning to float down the Sandy River to Dabney State Park, a 5 mile distance. Later Monday night the subjects of the search realized they would not be able to get to the determined meeting position on time, so they decided to beach their rafts onto the sandbar and build a fire.