Coast Guard provides rescue assistance on Mt. Jefferson

USCG file photo

USCG file photo

WARRENTON, Ore. — Coast Guard aircrews assisted several national and local agencies to search for a woman and her 32-year-old husband, who was reported to have fallen into a crevasse on Mt. Jefferson Monday.

Over the course of more than 14 hours, two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria assisted in the pickup and delivery of 15 Corvallis Mountain Rescue Unit team members to a site where they able to better access the missing hikers.

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River watchstanders in Warrenton were contacted at approximately 8 p.m. Sunday, requesting helicopter support for the search.

The Air Force, who organized the search effort between members from Marion County emergency response agencies, Corvallis Mountain Rescue Unit, the National Guard and the Coast Guard, said they received a call from the man’s wife, who reported the couple was attempting to summit Mt. Jefferson when her husband slid 500 feet down a slope and into a crevasse.

An aircrew launched with a member of the Corvallis Mountain Rescue Unit on board. Together, the crew assessed local conditions and requested further support to reach the man.

Coast Guard aircrews then ferried the members of the Corvallis Mountain Rescue Unit to a landing site about 1.5 miles from the crevasse, where the team then hiked to the couple’s reported location.

“Due to the rugged terrain of Mt. Jefferson, this has been a complex, multi-agency effort,” said Greg Merten, the Sector Columbia River watchstander who received the call from the Air Force. “Our ability to partner with other agencies allowed us to expedite the delivery of the mountain rescue teams to the woman and her missing husband.”

The air temperature on site was reported to be 20 degrees, and the altitude at the location of the crevasse was reported to be 8,900 feet.

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