Quis Missione Usquam - Any Mission, Anywhere

Mason County Search & Rescue

Proudly serving the citizens and visitors of Mason and surrounding counties

Mason County Search and Rescue's 22 active volunteers are specialists in search techniques, communications, first aid, outdoor survival strategies and low-angle subject extraction. Additional training is provided in helicopter insertions and extractions, ATV operations and the use of specialized rescue equipment. These dedicated volunteers answer calls at all hours, in any weather.

Mason County, population 60,000, is located near the foothills of the Olympic Mountains and Olympic National Forest. It is 962 square miles in area with approximately 300 miles of salt water front on south Puget Sound and Hood Canal. There are 200 fresh water lakes.

Our area offers a rich variety of outdoor recreational opportunities for people of all ages. The Olympic National Park Olympic National Forest, Hood Canal and Puget Sound are all a part of this wilderness.

Mason County is a favored destination for hikers, campers, divers and a host of other outdoor enthusiasts. Due to the rugged, remote wilderness areas, abundant waterways and miles of forest lands, there is a need for a dedicated, competent and credible individuals who volunteer their time and resources to finding and rescuing lost and injured individuals in Mason County.

Compared to the previous year, 2018 seemed relatively quiet - though still a busy time! As is the norm, the following figures do not account for equipment and vehicle maintenance or committee efforts during the course of the year. A detailed summary of 2018's efforts can be found here.

Searches: MCSAR participated in 32 search activities, contributing 1565.42 man hours and logging 10,987 miles. 15 of these events were out of county, assisting neighboring jurisdictions with 683.75 man hours of effort and 6,379 miles of travel.

Training: MCSAR volunteers participated in a total of 3850.70 hours of training evolutions for the year, logging 9,066 miles to do so.

Public Events: Community event participation totaled 141.58 hours with 668 miles of travel.

In total, MCSAR personnel officially contributed 5,557.70 hours of their time and logged 20,721 miles as part of their service to Mason County and our neighbors.

MCSAR in the News

18-ES-044 Ground SAR units from Mason, Thurston, Kitsap, Clallam and Cowlitz counties joined forces to assist our Grays Harbor County neighbors in searching a huge public area for evidence related to an ongoing criminal prosecution. Over two days we took several acres of western Washington brush all the way to the ground, digging through the detritus of daily life (cans, needles, bottles, discarded trash and trinkets) while doing our best to keep each other safe in the process. No injuries, smiles all around, and the citizens of Grays Harbor County well served by a crew they'll likely never meet.

MCSAR personnel and volunteers from a variety of Puget Sound SAR units scoured the area surrounding Price Lake for a missing 40 year old gentleman who was last seen cutting white pine boughs as part of a work crew. Unfortunately, the missing subject was found deceased approximately one mile from his last known location, and the Mason County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death as a suicide.

Missing: Carol Ferguson A multi-county task force once again descended upon the Putvin Trail in search of evidence related to the disappearance of Carol Ferguson, an 83 year old Bremerton resident missing since October 2017. Anyone with information related to this case is asked to contact the Bremerton Police Department at (360) 473-5220..

Noe Alvarado Guarchaj Mason County SAR Ground and Canine teams deployed with assistance from Thurston County ESAR, Pierce County ESAR, West Coast Search Dogs and Evergreen Search Dogs in an effort to locate Noe Alvarado Guarchaj, a 43 year old Guatemalan man who was last seen at his church on 02 September. Approximately 100 members of Mr. Guarchaj's church congregation also participated in the search.

Unfortunately, Mr. Guarchaj was found deceased in an area north of Belfair State Park where it appears he had been picking brush. MCSAR and Thurston County ESAR personnel recovered his body, which was delivered to awaiting Mason County Coroner staff.

Subsequent investigation determined that Mr. Guarchaj was the victim of homicide by gunshot. The Mason County Sheriff's Office requests that anyone with information regarding Mr. Guarchaj's death contact Detective Chris Liles at (360) 427-9670, extension 327.

MCSAR Ground SAR personnel deployed to Mt. Ellinor to locate a young woman and her dog after they lost their way near the intersection of the summer and winter summit trails. As search crews made their way toward the subject's last known location, hikers in the area made contact with and escorted the subject downhill to rendevous with SAR personnel. The subject and her dog were safely delivered to her waiting family members.

An MCSAR Canine team deployed to Kitsap County to assist in the search for a 72 year old male with early onset dementia and other health issues. The subject was located shortly after our arrival and delivered to a medical facility for treatment.

Success: Mt. Washington Olympic Mountain Rescue, Kitsap County ESAR, Thurston County Jeep Patrol, South Puget Sound Mobile Rescue and Mason County Search and Rescue ground and mobile units spent the night searching for a father and son who were reported overdue after an attempted ascent of Mt. Washington. Visiting from Texas, the duo lost their way at the 5000' point and, with supplies dwindling and night approaching, began making their way down the mountain to the north through Jefferson Pass. MCSAR mobile personnel made contact with the pair after approximately 14 hours of searching, and returned them to the command post none the worse for wear.

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All content © 2019 Mason County Search & Rescue, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Federal EIN 911587888.