One of two missing hunters located, taken to hospital
UPDATE: Trevor Higgins, 21, was been found alive but very hypothermic, the Curry County Sheriff's Office said. Higgins was airlifted to Bay Area Hospital for treatment.
According to the Curry County Sheriff's Office, Trevor Higgins was found about 3 miles from the trail head in the Squirrel Creek drainage.
Sheriff John Ward said he was cold, wet, lethargic and hypothermic.
The U.S. Coast Guard helicopter air lifted Trevor Higgins out of the area. The helicopter took him to the Bay Area Hospital in Coos Bay.
A National Guard helicopter and ground search crews continued looking for Shawn Higgins until after dark. The search will continue Wednesday at daylight.
GOLD BEACH, Ore. - When his father did not show up at the planned meeting place, 21-year-old Trevor Higgins set off into the Shasta Costa Creek looking for him.
Higgins didn't make it back before dark.
That was Friday, October 14.
As of Tuesday, October 18, the search continues for Trevor and his father, 41-year-old Shawn Higgins of Coos Bay, Curry County Sheriff John Ward said.
Search and rescue crews from neighboring counties have joined the effort.
And after days of wind and rain, Ward said searchers are hoping for a break in the weather so they can get an aircraft up in the area to search.
"The water levels in these creek beds have risen, they look like rivers," said Deputy Brian Melvin with Douglas County Search & Rescue. "Searchers aren't able to cross then, we're having to go around them. So the weather is slowing things down."
The local sheriff also doesn't want a well-intentioned volunteer to become the subject of a new search and rescue mission.
"Although we appreciate all the help we can get, we don’t need to worry about looking for lost searchers as well," Ward said.
Here's what searchers have learned and done so far:
Around 7 p.m., the Curry County Sheriff’s Office received a call reporting two lost hunters in the Bear Camp area, 45 miles east of Gold Beach.
Curry County Sgt. Ted Heath and several Search and Rescue members responded to the area, Sheriff Ward said.
The team learned that Shawn and Trevor had been hunting with another family member in an area known as High Ridge near the top of the Shasta Costa Creek drainage.
Shawn Higgins did not show up where the group planned to meet.
After a few hours of looking for him, Trevor also failed to make it back to the road where the three planned to meet.
"SAR members were not able to deploy into the massive area due to the darkness and weather," Ward reports. "SAR members stayed through the night, driving all the surrounding main and spur roads in the area doing sound sweeps."
Curry County Sheriff’s SAR members, assisted by local residents with knowledge of the area, hiked into the woods and spent the day in bad weather searching for Shawn and Trevor.
Curry County called for assistance from the California Oregon Regional Search and Rescue cooperative, or CORSAR.
"The search ended at dark with no sign of Shawn or Trevor," Ward reported. "SAR members continued to drive the roads throughout Saturday night."
About 80 search and rescuer team members from nearby counties arrived at the search area, along with family and friends of the Higgins.
"The weather was extremely bad, making it impossible for the Coast Guard to fly the area due to heavy rains, winds and persistent fog," Sheriff Ward reported. "Searchers continued searching till dark and once again, had no clues to indicate as to where Shawn and Trevor were. SAR members continued to drive the roads throughout the night."
A mix of search and rescue personnel and other volunteers continued the search.
"About 80 searchers combed the areas above and below the High Ridge trail and down into the Shasta Costa drainage," Ward reported. "The weather was still bad with heavy rains and fog making the search very difficult. With all the rains, the creeks and drainages were full of rushing waters and along with the wind, made it impossible to hear in the search area. By dark, there was still no sign of Shawn or Trevor and the search was suspended for the night."
The search resumed with personnel from multiple counties and local volunteers, as well as friends and family.
Sheriff Ward said "those who wish to assist, we ask that you are physically fit to be able to take long hikes in extreme conditions, be prepared with proper clothing and have compatible GPS’s and radios," he reported. "If volunteers do want to come, they have to sign in with our command post, get an assignment so we know who is out searching. Although we appreciate all the help we can get, we don’t need to worry about looking for lost searchers as well."