December 21, 2015
The Skamania County Sheriff’s 911 dispatch received a call from the Washington State Department of Emergency Management Monday afternoon reporting an emergency locating transmission (ELT) Activation. WA. State DEM was notified by the Air Force Rescue and Coordination Center who had originally received the ELT notification.
The AFRCC provided GPS coordinates which showed the transmission coming from the Panther Creek area approximately 5-8 miles north of Carson WA.
Skamania County deputies responded to the area with snow-mobiles and were assisted by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Due to the wind storm, deputies had to cut several trees from the roadway in order to gain access to the area. The AFRCC continued to provide updates indicating the ELT signal was moving and new coordinates were gathered.
At the time of the ELT notification, the Sheriff’s Office had no reports of missing or overdue persons.
Based on the emergency contact information associated with the registered ELT, the Sheriff’s Office was successful in reaching the father of one of the overdue subjects. Chris Ramsay advised his son and two friends had gone to the area on Sunday to hike. The three young men were planning on parking at the Crest Horse Camp below Red Mountain on Forest Road 60 and hiking to Junction Lake in the Indian Heaven Wilderness.
Mr. Ramsay reported that his son Jack, 20 years old and from Vancouver Washington, was possibly with Patrick Wallum 21 years of age from Vancouver and Altair Winguth, 20 years of age also from Vancouver. All three were reported to be in good shape with no known medical issues and they had camping and hiking supplies with them.
Chris Ramsay indicated that his son Jack had an emergency plan and if ELT was activated they were to stay put.
The Volcano Rescue Team was dispatched with a snow-cat requested to assist.
Skamania County deputies and WA St. Fish and Wildlife personnel reached the area of Crest Horse camp and located the overdue subjects with their vehicle and they were slowly making their way out.
All three subjects were reported to be in good condition and no medical was needed.