EUGENE, Ore. — Two 19-year-olds were reported missing after not returning home after a hiking trip that began on Christmas and was supposed to end on Dec. 29. The men were rescued by Coast Guard members on Saturday, Jan. 1.
Christian Farnsworth and Parker Jasmer had been reported missing since Dec 29 after they failed to return from their trip near a mountain in the Umpqua National Forest, southeast of Eugene. The Lane County Sheriff’s Office dispatched search parties to search for the men on New Year’s Eve.
Due to the heavy snowfall, Lane County called in the aid of the Coast Guard and its helicopter to continue the search. The two men were hoisted up by the aircrew and they were delivered to waiting Lane County Sheriff’s Office Officers at the Eugene Airport.
"I'm so grateful for the Coast Guard," said Katrina Crawford, Farnsworth's mother. "I was expecting amputation or death."
The two hikers had no medical concerns, according to authorities.
"These young men did a lot of things right to give themselves the best chance of being rescued," said Lt. Maggie Champlin, MH-65 aircraft commander, 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 backcountry."
Flight Mechanic Ben Renna said it was a huge relief to find the teens.
"I've done lots of searches like this where we don't find them," said Renna. "They made it a few days without food. A few days longer is usually not a good thing."
During the search for the two men, the aircrew identified two additional persons in distress and passed their position to Lane County, who believed they were within range of their land party.