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