Coast Guard locates lost Northern Michigan hunter

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City searched and located a lost 50-year-old hunter near Ruby Creek in Oceana County, Monday morning, after he failed to return to camp the previous night.

The Coast Guard helicopter crew quickly located the hunter in the early morning light and then successfully guided ground parties in to provide assistance.

“There’s no better feeling than knowing that you helped save someone’s life and that is what we train to do each and every day,” said Lt. Chad Eckhardt, Air Station Traverse City HH-65C pilot.

Every year the hunting season has the potential to present unforgiving weather, including colder temperatures and freezing precipitation. Conditions can change dramatically in a very short period of time. Hunters should know their limitations and be in good physical health if heading out into the wilderness and unfamiliar areas.

The safe rescue of the hunter emphasizes the importance to properly prepare for your activity, the environment your in, and any possible situations that may arise. Make sure you leave a detailed hunting plan with family or friends, and always hunt or hike with a partner. Be well prepared by having a detailed map of the area and a means of communication like a cellular phone or 2-way radio, and carry a box of matches, a lighter, a flashlight, or other fire making/signalling signaling device.

Detecting a missing person on the ground can be quite difficult even from an aircraft overhead. To better the chance of detection by rescuers, the following survival equipment is strongly recommended:

  • Cold weather survival gear
  • 2 Way VHF-FM radio and/or cell phone
  • Matches, lighter, or other device for making a fire
  • Handheld GPS Global Positioning System
  • Bright Orange Reflective Clothing
  • Flashlight, strobe light, or other light-producing signalling device

The Coast Guard urges all hunters to take a hunting safety course and always dress and prepare for emergency situations that may happen.

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