The Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office received a report of three missing people Monday, Jan. 27, in the Hamlet area east of Seaside. Deputies began searching shortly after dark for a 25-year-old man, a 14-year-old boy, and a 17-year-old girl. The three were found uninjured Tuesday afternoon.
Describing the group as friends, family members reported the trio became stranded when the vehicle they were traveling in left the narrow road after encountering another motorist. Based on very limited cellular telephone data, deputies were able to locate the disabled vehicle but found it unoccupied. Deputies continued searching through the night and launched a full search and rescue operation at daylight Tuesday, Jan. 28.
Through further investigation, deputies determined the girl was not missing but instead, another 16-year-old boy was believed to have been in the vehicle.
Shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday, searchers located the trio approximately a mile from the vehicle. The three were not injured but had been exposed to the elements through the night. They left the vehicle in search of call service.
The Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the United States Coast Guard, Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Hamlet Rural Fire Protection District, Medix Ambulance, Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue, and Mountain Wave Search and Rescue.
The Sheriff’s Office wants to remind people traveling in the forest to go prepared with proper food and clothing. Always let friends or family know your travel plans and never assume you will have cellular service. Even if your vehicle becomes disabled, its generally safer to stay inside when possible.