Dry Bag of Missing Hiker Located

Lost Coast sunset

Lost Coast sunset in 2016. [Photo by a reader]

Searchers today located the dry bag of 33-year-old Rick Eastep washed up on the beach at Big Flat north of Miller Flat, said Cheryl Antony a spokesperson for Shelter Cove Fire, one of several agencies looking for the missing Canadian hiker. Inside the bag, two members of the Southern Humboldt County Technical Rescue Team located Eastap’s BLM hiking permit. However, the hiker still hasn’t been located.

Eastep texted on Monday, January 7 that he was injured at Millers Flat and needed help. The texts however were not received until late Wednesday. A search crew set out that night and discovered an empty backpack and several ready to eat meals not far away. The family has since identified the backpack as belonging to Eastep.

“He was an experienced hiker,” Antony said. “He had the best equipment.”

Multiple search crews have poured over the rugged and remote area around the Lost Coast Trail for the last two days. “There is a 24 hour team spending the night at Big Flat and will search again tomorrow,” she explained. Tonight, two members of Southern Humboldt County Technical Rescue Team are staying at Big Flat and will be searching again tomorrow.

“One of the Shelter Cove Fire Department is driving the six wheeler back along the trail [with a companion],” she added. “His intention is to come back tonight when the tide is low. He is going back over what he has gone over to see if there is anything he might have missed.”

UPDATE: No Stone Being Left Unturned as Search Teams Look for Missing Hiker In Difficult Conditions

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  • Consistently amazed at the devotion and level of professionalism from these volunteer crews. So many thanks to you!!!!!
    Hoping hes heading back the way he came and leaving items as a crumb trail. Thanks to those sleeping out there! Lets hope that he is close by, its hopeful that hes potentially not too hurt to move.
    Is there still a usuable landing strip for small plane out there?
    Its been many years since ive been there.
    To his family, these awesome folks will not give up until he is found. They are experienced and passionate.

  • I love our community! Such dedication and professionalism. Positive energy to the search and rescue teams and warm hugs for the family in these hard time.

  • The Southern Humboldt tactical team is so dedicated & won’t stop looking for your son
    I feel if he slipped & hurt his back he may not be able to move or else he would have made it back to the main trail where he would be found The terrain is steep & treacherous in parts with cliffs going down to the ocean
    Finding his dry sac washed up on the beach by Big Flat puts a lump in my throat
    Please Dear Lord let the rescue team find him & bring him home safe 🙏🙏🙏
    Would a search dog help to track him even though it’s been raining? The dog would be able to detect him it may be worth a shot

  • 👨‍🚒👩‍🚒👮‍♂️👮‍♀️❤❤❤

  • Vaya con dios amigo.

  • Are they using a heat sensor device to locate him?? I’m not an expert on the matter, but I know they’re using one right now to locate missing cats in the Camp Fire. Can’t there be one made to find lost humans in the woods?

    • I hope they have one. If not, we need to insist they open a gofundme so we can come together and get them one before the next mishap.

  • There are stretches on that beach where you can get trapped by big surf when the tide is coming in. The only way out is to scale the cliff. Hope they find him.

  • I imagine the Coast Guard has a FLIR in their helicopter.
    (FLIR is ‘Forward Looking Infrared Imagery’)

    Oddly, I haven’t seen the Coast Guard mentioned as being involved in the search. ??
    Helicopter would cover that area in a hurry. Dunno.

  • Coast guard are busy right now ,with starving crab fisherman..but i’am sure they will do what they can…so sorry this happened.

    • Why they are not flying.
      Coast Guard has no funding due to the Frump budget.

      • Except they are flying. They are doing so despite lack of pay.

        “We don’t know how long the government shutdown will last, but the Coast Guard is statutorily obligated to maintain the essential safety, security, and environmental protection services the public expects during the government shutdown,” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coast-guard-government-shutdown-could-hinder-missions-readiness/

        You might help if needed.

      • your statement shows your ignorance. President Trump made sure the coast guard got their last paycheck, and the next paycheck is scheduled for the 15th of january. there is a bill going though congress to pay the coast guard and it is bipartisan, it will most likely pass. plus if any government worker has a bank that is a credit union, the bank will pay them their pay upfront with no interest and then when they get paid the bank just wants their money back. please try not to spread fake news

        • It’s not fake news to say that the Coast Guard’s paychecks are not currently funded. Trump says his shutdown could last months.

  • The creek at Big Flat can be treacherous..

  • What injuries did he report he had?

  • Miracles happen to those who believe in them…may God be with him!

    • The sun shines on the good and bad alike and the rain falls on the righteous and unrighteous alike. Miracles equally happen to those who do not believe. Isn’t that perfection?

  • Thank you to all who are searching for Rick, and to those who are sending along their prayers and good wishes. They are appreciated by all who know Rick personally or professionally back home and are following the news anxiously. He is a wonderful colleague to those of us who work with him at the University of Waterloo. We are all praying for a positive outcome.

  • Finding the dry bag on the beach is not a good sign. I pray that he did not slip and fall into the ocean. Thank you to all the people out looking for him. When a persons life is on the line the Coast Guard should fly. To hell with what Trump is doing! Get that chopper up.

  • Hikers; This Coastline is Dangerous in the Winter Stay Away unless you are Prepared with a Handheld Marine Weather Radio and Waterproof Gear And a Knowledge Of Tides And Winter Swell Forcasting. The Ocean Conditions can change in an Hour in the Winter months and The Trail is along the Beach is Below The High Tide Line. Allow enough Time to make the Hike if you have to Rest or Wait for a Storm Or Big Surf to Pass. Local Knowledge.

    • Born and raised local

      I have been rained in bigflat for a week.. we got so desperate we stoned and ate a raccoon, I would never recommend raccoon unless you are starving! The biggest danger is the ocean, it will take you as quickly as you turn away so try not to turn away on the lost coast trail.

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