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Eugene hiker lost in Douglas County found safe after walking 20 miles from vehicle

Douglas County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue (Image via DCSO)

IDLEYLD PARK, Ore. - A hiker is safe after rescue personnel searched for him after he activated a personal locator beacon.

On Sunday, February 4, at 7:49 p.m., the Douglas County Sheriff's Office was notified by an emergency response coordination center that an individual with a personal locator beacon had activated their distress signal in the area of Steamboat Creek Road in the Umpqua National Forest.

Exact coordinates were relayed to the sheriff's office.

Around 10 p.m., Search and Rescue personnel were responding to the GPS location of the distress signal when they came across the missing person about 5 miles from the original location provided.

MORE | Be Prepared: What if you get lost in the woods?

The man, 58-year-old John Webber of Eugene, told deputies he had been on a hike which started around mid-morning.

He was hiking on a game trail and became disoriented. He tried to hike out at about 1 p.m.

He was unable to find his way back to his vehicle and pressed the distress signal on his locator beacon.

He continued to walk after pressing the beacon because he wasn't sure the signal had been sent.

Deputies were able to determine Webber had walked approximately 20 miles from his vehicle.

He was well prepared for the hike and was found in good condition, police said.

"Mr. Webber's level of preparedness and availability of a personal locator beacon were significant factors in his safe return." Sgt. Brad O'Dell said.

The Sheriff's Office would like to remind citizens with a personal locator beacon who find themselves in distress and activate the SOS button to stay put until help arrives.

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