The Pierce County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team rescued a missing hiker overnight near Eatonville on Sept. 27.
At 7:56 p.m. on Sept. 26, a man called 911 to report that his friend became lost while hiking alone along the Mashel River near Eatonville. The 24-year-old hiker sent a text message to the 911 caller, telling him that he was lost, tired, injured and needed someone to come find him. He was able to provide his approximate location before his phone battery died.
Deputies were dispatched to the scene and determined the Search and Rescue Team would need to respond. Once the team arrived, they requested air support from the Air Operations Unit.
The Swiftwater Rescue Team worked upstream for over a mile and a half, and at approximately 2:30 a.m., they located the missing hiker on a rock at the river’s edge. He was cold and wet, and had a shoulder injury. The rescuers gave him a sweatshirt and started a fire to keep him warm while they waited for other searchers to clear a quarter-mile path through the woods. Roughly two hours later, the hiker was brought back across the river and out of the woods, where he was treated by medics and released.
Multiple units, agencies and groups assisted with the rescue including:
– Pierce County Sheriff’s Mountain Detachment
– Pierce County Sheriff’s Air Operations Unit
– Pierce County Sheriff’s Dive Team
– Pierce County Sheriff’s Swiftwater Rescue Team
– Eatonville Police Department
– German Shepherd Search Dog Team
– Pierce County 4×4
– Explorer Search and Rescue Teams
– Mobile Command Center