Rescuers Cut Through Multiple Trees and Trek Miles to Find Two Lost Boys

Shelter Cove Fire and Rescue successfully returns after finding lost boys. [Photo provided by Cheryl Antony of Shelter Cove Fire]

Last night, two dozen rescuers from across the Lost Coast spread out in a search for two lost teenage boys. The boys had set out earlier that day on mountain bikes to ride the Paradise Royale trail. By dark, they weren’t home.

Snow covered the mountains and the night was very cold, explained Cheryl Antony of Shelter Cove Fire and Rescue.  The bike trail, she said, is 13 miles long. “It is a very difficult bike trail in parts,” she explained. “It is not labeled well.”

According to Aurora Studebaker of Southern Humboldt County Technical Rescue, “The last text [one of the boy’s dad] got was about 7:20…It got dark and they had no way of continuing a trail.” They told him they were sorry but then the phone died and they couldn’t communicate anymore.

“They must have been scared,” Studebaker said. And, she was very worried, too. She told us she thought, “Oh, my gosh, we’ve got to find these kids or it isn’t going to be good.”

Not only were the boys lost but the recent heavy snow made traveling difficult.

“There were tons of trees down across the trail,” she explained. “It got dark and they had no way of continuing a trail.” Eventually, the two boys found Paradise Ridge Road. At this point, they were walking their bikes. The trail Studebaker said was “covered with 4 to 6 inches of snow. They just kept walking and walking. They hiked for several miles.”

Antony said the boys saw a light and headed down a private driveway to the home. This was lucky because there aren’t many homes in this wilderness area.

“It’s like the only house for miles,” Studebaker said. However, the driveway was over a mile and a half long, she said. Snow and downed trees covered the roadway.

Eventually, the boys managed to reach the home where the residents brought them in, warmed them, and contacted law enforcement to say they had been found. The call that they were safe came in about 9:30 p.m. but the boys would not get home for hours. The resident had to chainsaw his way out from his end while rescuers cut their way in from the other in a 6wheel ATV.

“It was 35 degrees,” Antony said. “They were so far down we had to keep cutting trees. It took from 10:30 to almost 1:30 to get them.”

The volunteers who searched didn’t get into bed until after 2 a.m. “Today, we’re washing the trucks,” Antony said. “It was so muddy.” They will fill the tanks on their vehicles and replenish their supplies. “We just couldn’t do it last night,” she said. “We were so tired.”

Shelter Cove Volunteer Fire crew has had two eventful days. Friday, they rescued numerous stranded and wrecked motorists after a rare snowfall in the Kings Range. Last night, they searched into the early morning hours for two lost boys. “It has been five or six hour long cold days,” Antony explained. And, today, they need to clean up and get ready to go again. “I hope people drive carefully today,” she said. “It will likely be icy.”

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Aurora Studebaker wants to remind hikers and bikers to prepare for problems. “I would say anytime you are going out in the wilderness, take supplies,” she said.

“Even if I am going on a one-mile hike,” she explained, “I take supplies–a little bit of food like a power bar and other things.” Some suggestions she offered were a knife, a headlamp, a lighter and a charged cell phone.

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19 comments

  • Great job Shelter Cove Fire & Rescue!! Happy ending!

  • Awesome job guys and ladies involved with the rescue you all rock

  • How relieved those parents must have been!

  • Great job to all of you. Now have the two boys help clean your equipment

  • Melinda Garrett

    Those are two very lucky young men. Glad they’re safe.

  • I’d say shelter cove fire dept are hero’s.

  • Give Thanks Shelter Cove Fire & Rescue Crew
    Thank heavens for the folks in the cabin in the woods for sheltering the boys & helping to get them back to their family safely YOU GUYS ROCK♥️♥️♥️

  • Excellent folks doing over the top events to keep our familys and community safe.

  • Once they were safe in a house why not wait til morning to retrieve them. Or would that be logical.

    • Yes that sounded weird. Everybody cutting down trees in the cold dark night to open the road because…??

      • Most who have the right tools for any job and are capable of using them are happy to in a time of need.

        1 mile and a half isn’t the worst for some night work, especially to reunite some worried parents with their kids.

        Plus, the more done today, the more time for tomorrow’s emergency.

        More than anything, I want to say that the faces of those rescuers is really great. Super jovial, I feel their spirit. Right on folks!

    • Didn’t you ever play “fireman” growing up? Kids like to have others appreciate them and be “heros.” Besides, what else do growers have to do in the winter other than play with expensive toys?

  • Wow how lucky are we to have this level of quality folks around!!!

    When is the next fundraiser for them? Are there other ways the community can support them?

    ♡Many thanks♡

  • Glad it ended well. There are more heroes per square mile in Humboldt than anywhere else!

  • This is why it’s important to support your community and the local fire department.

  • What the heck are they doing out there on Mt. bikes, in this weather? How did they get anywhere with all the trees down. And to be caught after dark, with a dead cell phone.(if they even work out there. Bet they didn’t have a match or flashlight either. If your going to play in the wilderness, you better know how to prepare, just in case. And how to survive a night or two. Hey,Mom and Dad, a nice donation for the fire Dept. would be a great start. And this summer,a good survival camp is in order. You know you could really get hurt out there, even die. And a cell phone isn’t much to pull your ass out of harms way. Good work SCVFD. They are “volunteers”, and all have jobs to go to the next morning. Just saying……

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