Two 19-year-old hikers who went winter camping were rescued near Eugene, Oregon, by the U.S. Coast Guard after signaling for help by writing an “SOS” sign in the snow, officials said. CBS affiliate KOIN-TV reports the two men went camping near Swastika Mountain southeast of Eugene around Christmas Day and failed to return as expected on Dec. 29. Officials said the men were reported missing on New Year’s Eve.
Due to heavy snow in the area, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew assisted the Lane County Sheriff’s Department in finding the two men, whose names have not been released. The Coast Guard released video of the rescue, showing one of the hikers being hoisted into a helicopter.
The Coast Guard crew was also able to find the two men Saturday and they were evacuated via helicopter to the Eugene Airport, officials said. They did not suffer any injuries, according to the Coast Guard.
Coast Guard officials said the men were smart to stay near their car and logging roads and to write, “SOS” in the snow to ensure they could be found easily.
“These young men did a lot of things right to give themselves the best chance of being rescued,” said Lt. Maggie Champin, MH-65 aircraft commander for Sector North Bend. “By writing ‘SOS’ in the snow, staying near their vehicle and staying near logging roads, we were able to find them relatively quickly. We recommend hikers carry personal locator beacons while out in the back country.”
In 2020, a man was rescued by Alaska State Troopers who found him by a makeshift shelter with an, weeks after his remote cabin burned down.