From the Office of the Sheriff
Sheriff Dennis L. Dotson
For Immediate Release
Date: May 8, 2012
||Sergeant Adam Shanks|
||Canoers reported missing on Drift Creek in South Lincoln County found|
||May 6, 2012|
||Approximately 8:34 pm|
||Drift Creek Area, South Lincoln County|
Shortly after 8:30pm on May 6, 2012, Lincoln County Sheriff's deputies received a report from a citizen in the 400 Block of N Bayview Court, Waldport, Oregon regarding two lost boaters in the Drift Creek area. The female caller reported her husband, 59 year old James Albert Jones and one of his co-workers, 28 year old Eric Albert Inglis also of Waldport, began a canoeing trip on Drift Creek this morning at 9:30am with plans to meet the caller at 4:30pm at their ending location where Drift Creek meets May Road in the Bayview area north of Waldport. The caller became concerned when the two subjects failed to arrive at the location several hours later.
The caller reported Jones and Inglis were operating a white full-size Chevrolet pickup and were traveling the creek in a 15-foot aluminum canoe. Jones and Inglis were reportedly carrying limited supplies with no food or water and no overnight supplies. The caller was unsure of the exact location on Drift Creek where the subjects were to have started their trip but believed they may have started from the 1000 Line Road.
Deputies responded to the area and searched several access points in the lower Drift Creek area but were unable to locate the subjects or their vehicle. The Lincoln County Sheriff's Search & Rescue (SAR) Team was dispatched to assist with the search for Jones and Inglis. Lincoln County SAR deployed in the lower Drift Creek area checking the creek banks and adjacent roadways but was unable to locate the two men.
At approximately 12:52am, while conducting a search of the 1000 Line Road area at the request of Lincoln County SAR Coordinator, Deputy Bruce McGuire, Toledo Fire personnel located the vehicle Jones and Inglis were reportedly traveling in on the 1000 Line Road near Milepost 10 where Drift Creek crosses through the area. Toledo Fire reported the vehicle was unoccupied with no one seen in the area.
Lincoln County SAR re-positioned to the area on the 1000 Line Road and deployed several search teams in the area throughout the night.
On May 7, 2012, Lincoln County SAR requested further assistance of additional SAR teams due to the size and terrain of the search area. SAR teams from Benton, Lane, and Linn counties responded to the scene and assisted with searching the Drift Creek Wilderness area. The United States Coast Guard North Bend helo also responded to the area and provided aerial search support of the creek beds.
At approximately 4:15pm, members of the Lane County SAR team deployed near the end of N Bayview Road and located Jones and Inglis on the bank of Drift Creek in the wilderness area. Both subjects reported to be uninjured and in good condition. Lane County SAR assisted both subjects up to dry land.
Jones and Inglis reported they had collided with a large rock several miles upstream which pinned their canoe, forcing them to walk out the creek bed to safety. A kayak team from Corvallis Mountain Rescue who had deployed in Drift Creek reported they had located the kayak several miles upstream during their search efforts but were unable to transport it out of the area.
Jones and Inglis reported they stayed the night along the creek bank and continued walking out the next morning. Both subjects were in possession of their personal flotation devices and canoe paddles when they were found. Jones and Inglis were subsequently transported home and returned to their families.
"We are very pleased with the outcome of this search operation," stated Lincoln County SAR Program Manager, Sergeant Adam Shanks. "Locating Mr. Jones and Mr. Inglis and returning them safely to their families was our top priority and we were able to achieve it."
Lincoln County Sheriff Dennis Dotson stated, "The cooperative efforts of several governmental agencies ranging from local, state, and federal in addition to the continued dedication demonstrated by dozens of volunteers from not only our search and rescue team but those assisting from other counties, made this search mission successful. We are very thankful for the support and resources we received during this mission."
The Lincoln County SAR team was assisted by Benton County SAR, Lane County SAR, Linn County SAR, Corvallis Mountain Rescue, United States Coast Guard, Oregon State Police, Seal Rock Fire, Toledo Fire, Central Oregon Coast Fire & Rescue, and several private property owners who allowed searchers access to their properties during search efforts.