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News Items - Mason County Search & Rescue

What's been happening at MCSAR

MCSAR was assisted by ground search and canine teams from multiple jurisdictions in a multi-day search for missing Shelton resident Dale Ackley, 44, who was last contacted during the evening of 25 June. Mr. Ackley's vehicle was located in southeast Shelton, but despite an exhaustive search of the surrounding area and every static structure encountered, no trace of Mr. Ackley's whereabouts was found.

Anyone with information related to this case is asked to contact Shelton PD via MACECOM's non-emergency line at (360) 426-4441.

UPDATE: Mr. Ackley's remains were recovered near the search area during the 14 July weekend.

Mason County Ground SAR and Canine teams assisted the Kittitas Sheriff's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and hundreds of volunteers from multiple states in searching for evidence related to the homocide of Lindsey Baum, a 10-year-old girl missing from McCleary since June 2009. This effort, conducted in the rocky and forested hills west of Ellensburg, represents the largest SAR operation conducted in the State of Washington.

Canine, Ground SAR and Operations personnel from MCSAR assisted the Clallam County Sheriff's Office and hundreds of crewmembers of USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in searching for EMN2 Jeremiah Adams, 24, of Aurora IL. Petty Officer Adams had failed to muster the morning of 07 May, and his vehicle was located at a trailhead in Sequim that evening. Late on the evening of May 12, Petty Officer Adams' remains were recovered from the base of a steep cliff by members of Clallam County Search and Rescue.

A task force of MCSAR Ground SAR searchers, members of Olympic Mountain Rescue, UAV resources from Cowlitz County and canine teams from every county in the Puget Sound combined their efforts in another search of the Putvin Trail area for any sign of Carol Ferguson, an 83-year-old hiker from Bremerton who was last seen in the fall of 2017. Despite an exhaustive search of the area, Mrs. Ferguson remains missing.

Canine and Ground SAR members of MCSAR assisted the Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Office in the search for a young man last seen near a logging road just north of Lake Quinalt. While no trace of the subject was found on the ground or from the air, he reappeared ten days later suffering the effects of exposure and was purported to have been near the search area the entire time. Investigation continues.

A joint force of MCSAR Ground SAR and ATV units, Kitsap County ESAR and canine teams and German Shepherd Search Dogs of Washington State responded to a call from the Mason County Sheriff's Office to locate a missing 52-year-old subject suffering from advanced Alzheimer's Disease. After an extensive ground search, the subject was located in the brush near a logging road approximately 1.5 miles from his home, cold and wet but otherwise in good physical condition.

Missing: Carol Ferguson Search volunteers from across the Puget Sound region spent four days scouring miles of trail and forest between the Putvin Trailhead and Lake of the Angels in search of 83-year-old Carol Ferguson of Bremerton. An avid hiker, Ferguson is considered capable of navigating many of the hazards found in this trail system, but may be suffering symptoms of dementia. Anyone with information related to this case is asked to contact the Bremerton Police Department at (360) 473-5220.

Mason County Ground SAR, Canine and Mobile volunteers assisted the King County Sheriff's Office for three days in searching the trails, waterways and forests near Goldmeyer Hot Springs in North Bend for a missing Russian national who had separated from his party a few nights before. Still missing is Sergey Cherepov, 57, who was last seen wearing a purple t-shirt, tan shorts and moccasins. Mr. Cherepov was known to have suffered a head injury, which was wrapped with a bandage at the time of his disappearance. Anyone with information concerning this case is asked to contact the King County Sheriff's Office at (206) 296-3311.

Mason County Search and Rescue volunteers mobilized to assist Kitsap County SAR in locating a missing early-stage Alzheimer's patient last seen the previous evening. As searchers received their assignments and began departing the staging area, the missing man was located in a local hospital.

MCSAR ground search personnel, working alongside King County Search and Rescue volunteers, assisted the Mason and King County Sheriff's Offices in searching a property on State Route 3 in Shelton for potential evidence of criminal activity.

Ground search and canine volunteers from Mason County Search and Rescue joined Pierce County SAR and Tacoma Police Department detectives in searching a large homeless encampment for evidence related to the homicide of Oscar Blackwater, a 74-year-old man who frequented the Pacific and Portland Avenue areas of Tacoma. Anyone with information on this crime is asked to contact Crime Stoppers of Tacoma anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS.

MCSAR members mobilized to assist the Mason County Sheriff's Office in a search for a 65-year-old male hiker who had been separated from his hiking party the previous evening and was assumed to be lost on Mt. Ellinor. As crews staged to begin the search, the missing gentleman reported in from the Staircase Campground, where he had sought shelter after hiking through the night.

MCSAR volunteers assisted search and rescue crews from across the Puget Sound in searching the Sol Duc River area of Clallam County for Jacob Gray, a 22-year-old hiker who disappeared during an outing on or about 16 April, 2017. Despite the efforts of ground teams, canines and swiftwater specialists, no trace of the missing man was found.

Volunteers from Olympic Mountain Rescue, Mason County Search and Rescue and Tacoma Mountain Rescue joined two park rangers in recovering the remains of Zachary Krull, a 20 year old hiker last seen at the Staircase Campground in the Olympic National Park on April 8, 2017. The remains had been discovered the previous day by hikers at the southeastern shore of the eastern Flapjack lake, and were delivered by helicopter to the Mason County Coroner at Sanderson Field. This mission concludes a series of intensive search operations which had included elements of every SAR organization in the greater Puget Sound area.

Mason County Search and Rescue volunteers responded Saturday morning to a request for assistance from the Lewis County Sheriff's Office to help locate a missing 87 year old gentleman who had last been seen at his home on Wednesday evening. The missing subject was known to be an avid walker who was also considered at-risk due to possible issues of dementia. A joint force of ground searchers, canines and ATVs from each of the nearby counties combed the residences and wooded areas within two miles of the subject's home, and canine units located property in a wooded area near Interstate 5 and State Route 508 which was identified as possibly belonging to the missing subject. A foot search near this property led to the discovery of the deceased subject just over a mile northwest of his residence.

Missing: Zach Krull Mason County Search and Rescue was assisted by ground, mountain, 4x4, ATV and canine units from 11 other Puget Sound search and rescue teams in a comprehensive search for Zachary Krull, a 20 year old student at Evergreen State College. Zach was reported missing on Monday, April 10th, and was last seen at the Staircase Campground in the Olympic National Park. He is presumed to be carrying his backpack, snowshoes and trekking poles, and had expressed interest in pursuing the Mt Skokomish peak route before catching a Mason Transit bus back to Evergreen. Anyone with information regarding Zach's whereabouts is asked to contact Lt Jason Dracobly of the Mason County Sheriff's Office at (360) 427-9670, extension 313, or call 911.

Backcountry hikers should bear in mind that recent unpredictable snowfalls combined with warmer temperatures create extremely hazardous avalanche conditions near all of the most popular Olympic National Forest peaks. Please evaluate your equipment, skill level and emergency plan prior to making any summit attempts in the park, and be sure to leave a detailed hike/climb plan with a responsible non-participant.

2016 Christmas Parade Members of Mason County Search and Rescue prepare to participate in the 2016 Christmas Parade through downtown Shelton. Despite inclement weather, the turnout from the community was fantastic! Many thanks to the parade organizers and our community leaders for making this year's event a tremendous success!

Mason County Search and Rescue responded to a call from the Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Office for assistance in locating a hunter who had fallen into the Canyon River near the Mason/Grays Harbor County line. Unfortunately, the missing man was found deceased on a mid-river gravel bar approximately one mile downstream of his last known location. A team from German Shepherd Search Dogs of Washington State and MCSAR volunteers retrieved the victim and his gear from the water, but had to halt further recovery efforts due to inhospitable terrain and fading light.

Missing: Jerry Hyasman Mason County Search and Rescue volunteers joined forces with Thurston County SAR, West Coast Search Dogs, Olympic Mountain Rescue and local community members to assist the Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Office in searching for a mushroom picker reported missing in the Copalis Beach area since 04 October. An extensive ground and aerial search over two days yielded no sign of the missing man, whose whereabouts remain unknown as of this writing.

Missing is Jerry Hyasman, a 56-year-old Native American with graying black hair and brown eyes. He is 5' 7" tall and weighs approximately 180 pounds, with a tribal tattoo on one arm and an artificial left eye. Mr. Hyasman is known to have a heart condition and walks with a noticeable limp. Anyone with information concerning his whereabouts is asked to contact the Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Office at (360) 533-8765 or the Taholah Police Department at (360) 276-4422.

MCSAR Mobile Unit members responded to a call from the Grays Harbor Sheriff's Office to search for a missing 64-year-old mushroom picker (and his dog), who was last seen at mile marker 9 of Donkey Creek Road on Saturday afternoon. A multi-county effort was mounted by MSCAR, Kitsap County's ESAR unit, two teams from German Shepherd Search Dogs of Washington State, a team from West Coast Search Dogs of Washington State, Pierce County Search and Rescue's ATV unit and members of Grays Harbor County Volunteer Search and Rescue. The subject - accompanied by his dog - was recovered from a heavily-wooded area late in the afternoon, evaluated and treated for exposure before being transported down the mountain to waiting paramedics.

Mushroom picking season is in full swing throughout the Olympic Peninsula. Pickers, please remember to pack not for the hunt, but for the emergency: a compass and map or GPS unit with good batteries, a mobile phone (charged, of course), a whistle and a roll of flagging tape to mark your route would all be excellent additions to your outing - and, of course, extra dry clothing, a fire-starting kit and a space blanket or tarp certainly wouldn't hurt. Let your loved ones know where you'll be and when to expect you back, and leave a trail for us to follow in case you're not back on time!

Lightning Peak Rescue, September 2016 A lone hiker summited Lightning Peak via the Copper Creek Trail near Lake Cushman, but lost his way during his descent as the sun set. With his phone battery running down, he contacted 911 to give his approximate location and made camp at the 3800' level using a well-stocked pack of supplies to stay safe and relatively comfortable overnight.

At daybreak, MCSAR members joined forces with Olympic Mountain Rescue to locate the subject and guide him safely back to the trailhead, where he was greeted by very relieved family members. In reviewing his situation, the hiker commented that he will definitely be adding a compass, local maps and perhaps a GPS unit to his pack.

Mason County Search and Rescue personnel and members of German Shepherd Search Dogs of Washington State assisted the Grays Harbor Sheriff's Office in searching for a 46-year-old man last seen embarking on a mushroom picking trip three days prior. Team members scoured the area near the man's last known location until nightfall and intended to set out again at first light, but the subject finally contacted deputies around midnight to let them know he was safe.

Members of Mason County Search and Rescue responded to a midnight call from the Mason County Sheriff's Office to locate two missing hikers who had lost their way in the Vance Creek area of Skokomish Valley. Utilizing 4x4 and motorcycle units, MCSAR located the pair in a deep ravine after a few hours of searching, and guided them back to safety.

Outdoor enthusiasts would do well to remember that the Vance Creek Bridge is in severe disrepair, and is located on private property. The bridge poses no shortage of physical hazards for hikers and other visitors, the creek canyon can be treacherous (especially at night), and law enforcement may cite trespassers.

Mt Elinor Rescue, June 2016

Mason County Search and Rescue members, assisted by the always-ready team at Olympic Mountain Rescue, successfully located a pair of disoriented hikers and brought them to safety from the challenging hiking areas of Mount Elinor's upper trailhead.

The hikers did everything right: when they recognized their predicament, they stopped, contacted authorities via mobile phone and awaited assistance, secure with plenty of snacks and water. Inhospitable terrain and darkness turned a beautiful hike into a potentially dangerous extraction, but by morning there were smiles all around at the bottom of the mountain.

Sheriff's Breakfast, June 2016 Sheriff Casey Salisbury hosted members of Mason County Search and Rescue as well as local emergency room doctor, Dr. Dean Gushee, at the monthly Sheriff's Breakfast held at the Little Creek Casino. Mason County Search and Rescue members were being recognized for their recent recertification and Dr. Dean Gushee served as key note speaker talking about his experiences as medical support on a National Geographic expedition in Antarctica.

Lieutenant Travis Adams spoke about Search and Rescue and the work they do to be re-certified. "The members of Mason County Search and Rescue provide an invaluable resource to our community, bringing our lost and injured citizens home safely and skillfully."

Mason County Search and Rescue recently received their three-year state re-certification showing competency in areas such as first aid, communications, search tactics, safety, and navigation to name a few.

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