While trying to traverse a remote area in Willamette National Forest in Oregon, a motorist recently became stuck in the snow, and no cell service was available in the very forested area.
Fortunately, the Lane County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue office (LCSSR) said the unidentified stranded motorist’s ingenuity in using a cell phone and a drone to alert them most likely saved his life.
According to a LCSSR release, making matters even worse, his family was out of the country, and nobody knew where he had gone or to call for help if he didn’t make it home.
“Regardless of the circumstances leading to his situation, once stranded, this person made several smart decisions,” read a post from the LCSSR’s Facebook page.
“First, he stayed with his vehicle. Rarely does anyone in Oregon die from exposure waiting in their vehicle to be found and rescued, but we have unfortunately seen many poor outcomes from those who chose to walk away.”
“Of the dozens of missions we have had this winter involving a vehicle stuck in the snow, nearly all of them were 4×4 vehicles, and almost all of the drivers told us, ‘I didn’t think I would get stuck,’ ” the team said.
“Second, he used some ingenuity to find a way to call for help. The man had a drone with him and attached his cell phone to the drone.”
“He then typed a text message to a trusted person describing his situation and exact location hit send, and launched the drone several hundred feet into the air.”
LCSSR said the increased elevation allowed his phone to connect to a tower and send the message, which resulted in their team being deployed and assisting him out of his situation.
While their teams were rescuing this person, another motorist who had also been stranded nearby in the snow for multiple days was located and rescued, the LCSSR said.
“Of the dozens of missions we have had this winter involving a vehicle stuck in the snow, nearly all of them were 4×4 vehicles, and almost all of the drivers told us ‘I didn’t think I would get stuck,’ ” the LCSSR said in its post.