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Search & Rescue Calls Continue To Increase In Skamania County

11, July, 2017

Search & Rescue


The search & rescue within Skamania County continue to rise, this last weekend was no exception. We continue to see hikers that are unprepared, unfamiliar, or failed to let family members know their plans or routes taken during their hikes.

July 7th 6:08 pm – The Skamania County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Robert Clark, out of Tacoma, Washington. He reported information on an overdue hiker on Mt. St. Helens. Clark reported his hiking partner, Nathan Hamilton, 21, of Kenmore, WA ran ahead of their group and they had not seen him since. He informed our office Hamilton was in good health, had food and water, and a light jacket on.

A second hiking group came down behind Clark and advised they found sunglasses on a boulder in a snowfield. Clark identified the glasses as belonging to Hamilton. A search & rescue mission was initiated and 10 members of the Volcano Rescue Team responded. At 01:28 am on July 8th, the VRT had made voice contact with Hamilton. Once physically located the VRT hydrated him and reported no injuries had been sustained. At 03:52 am, Hamilton was back in the parking lot and reunited with his hiking group.

July 8th 4:19pm – The Clark County regional dispatch contacted our office regarding 2 overdue/dehydrated hikers on Mt. St. Helens. The actual reporting party was in another climbing group that came upon the hikers. They told dispatchers they gave the two water and directed them back down the trail toward the parking lot, but hey had not yet arrived. The Volcano Rescue Team and North Country EMS responded. They were able to locate and treat both hikers. They returned to the parking lot area by 9:00 pm.

July 8th 9:59pm – The Skamania County Sheriff’s Office received a call of 2 lost/missing children at the Ape Caves, near Mt. St. Helens. Deputies responded and prior to arrival were notified the children had been found however an adult member of their group had been involved in a single vehicle collision in the area. The responding Deputy found that the mother of one of the lost children had driven her SUV up the walking path in an attempt to signal the lost children. She struck a wooden bench, knocking it off its pedestal, damaging her vehicle. She then locked her keys inside the SUV. No citations were issued and all parties were accounted for. A towing company out of Woodland, WA responded to assist with the lock out.

July 9th 7:16 pm – The Skamania County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Danni Collins, Los Angeles, CA reporting her brother and his wife missing on the Wildcat Trail, trying to reach the Siouxon Trail, near Mt St. Helens. She reported her brother may have a low battery on his phone, but provided their service provider. She also said the couple were from Portland, Oregon and may have driven their green Subaru to the trailhead.

Collins said her brother is an experienced hiker and had no major-medical conditions. She didn’t know where they started their hike, unsure if they had supplies, or if they were prepared to stay the night. She thought they may have had food and water.

Our office began attempts to reach the missing hikers by phone calls and texts. Due to the vague information and reported experience level, resources were not initially dispatched. Our office learned both hikers did make it out of the forest by 9:00pm.





Pat Bond


Skamania County Sheriff’s Office

P.O. Box 790

Stevenson, WA 98648

(509) 427-9490 x2015