[UPDATE 5:36 p.m.] Searchers Scour Lost Coast Hunting for Missing Canadian Hiker
Around 25 searchers scoured the Lost Coast trail today for a missing 33-year-old Canadian man. They had no success and the sun which sets today at 5:10 p.m. is beginning to drop below the horizon.
Though Tuesday and Wednesday were stormy, today has been much clearer and calmer. Crews from Shelter Cove Fire, Shelter Cove Ocean Rescue boat crew, Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue, the US Coast Guard, a Bureau of Land Management representative, and Copter 102 from Cal Fire are committed to finding the lost man, Rick Eastep, a Ontario man, whose family are anxiously awaiting information.
Tomorrow, however, rain is moving back in. There is a 60% chance of precipitation, according to the National Weather Service.
The last word from the missing man came three days ago when he texted that he had hurt his back and was at Miller Flat, said Humboldt County Sheriff spokesperson Samantha Karges. “The text was something along the lines of help,” she said. But the text wasn’t seen until yesterday.
Miller Flat is about nine miles north of Shelter Cove, his destination and could be hiked easily in a half day under normal circumstances. However, the extent of the missing hiker’s injuries are unknown.
Dale Eastep stated in a comment on this website that his brother is alone on the trail but has had some experience. “He has previously hiked “The West Coast Trail” in BC and he has hiked the “Slims River West Trail” in the Yukon,” Eastep said. “This may not make him a pro by any means but he has had [some] experience.”
Diana Totten of Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue who is the incident commander for today’s search and rescue operations, said that Rick Eastep “was a good at hiking and backpacking.”
Cheryl Antony, spokesperson for Shelter Cove Fire, said that crews are still looking down some of the trails that shoot off the main trail and from the air.
“I hope he is found,” Dale Eastep said. “God be with all who are out there.”UPDATE 5:36 p.m.: Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:
On Jan. 9, 2019, at about 9:30 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the Lost Coast Trail for the report of a missing hiker with possible injuries. The hiker, identified as 32-year-old Rick Raymond Eastep of Ontario, Canada, sent a text to the reporting party indicating that he had been injured while hiking the trail, possibly near the Miller Flat area. The reporting party told dispatchers that though the text appeared to have been sent on Monday, Jan. 7, it was not received until late Wednesday.
Sheriff’s deputies, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Posse, Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue, Shelter Cove Fire, CAL FIRE, Bureau of Land Management and the Coast Guard are currently searching for Eastep. Search and rescue teams have conducted an extensive ground search of the area. A Coast Guard helicopter has also assisted in the search.
Anyone with information regarding Eastep’s whereabouts should contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251.