Two 19-year-old men were rescued Saturday in Lane County by the U.S. Coast Guard after signaling for help by writing an SOS sign in the snow.
The two men went camping near Swastika Mountain southeast of Eugene around Christmas Day and failed to return as expected on Dec. 29, officials said. Officials said the men were reported missing on New Year’s Eve.
Due to heavy snow in the area, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew assisted the Lane County Sheriff’s Department in finding the two men, whose names have not been released.
The helicopter crew also spotted two other people in distress while searching for the two men and reported the location of those individuals to Lane County officials, according to the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard crew was also able to find the two 19-year-olds and they were evacuated via helicopter to the Eugene Airport, officials said. They did not suffer any injuries, according to the Coast Guard.
Coast Guard officials said the men were smart to stay near their car and logging roads and to write, “SOS” in the snow to ensure they could be found easily.
“These young men did a lot of things right to give themselves the best chance of being rescued,” said Lt. Maggie Champin, MH-65 aircraft commander for 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 back country.”
Swastika Mountain, the site where the men were hiking, derives its name from the swastika-shaped brand used by an area rancher before the symbol was appropriated by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.
© 2022 Advance Local Media LLC
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.