Personal locator beacon leads crews to missing hiker

A missing hiker is located thanks to activating his personal locator beacon.

Posted: Feb 6, 2018 12:17 PM

IDLEYLD PARK, Ore. – The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said a man’s personal preparedness played a factor in his rescue and safety.

Deputies said they were notified on Sunday shortly before 8:00 p.m. by an emergency response coordination center that an individual with a personal locator beacon had activated their distress signal in the area of Steamboat Creek Road in the Umpqua National Forest. They said the exact coordinates were related to the sheriff’s office.

By around 10:00 p.m., deputies said Search and Rescue personnel were responding and located the missing person approximately five miles from the original location provided.

Deputies said 58-year-old Jon Webber of Eugene was on a hike on a game trail when he became disoriented. He told them he tried hiking out around 1:00 p.m. and was unable to find his way back to his vehicle and pressed the distress signal on his beacon. They said he continued walking after pressing the beacon because he wasn’t sure the signal was sent out.

Webber had walked approximately 20 miles from his vehicle, according to deputies.

"Mr. Webber's level of preparedness and availability of a personal locator beacon were significant factors in his safe return." Sgt. Brad O'Dell with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said.

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