Sheriff: Unprepared hiker rescued after 2 days in Curry County wilderness
GOLD BEACH, Ore. -- A hiker missing since Tuesday has been found safe, Curry County Sheriff's office said.
40-year-old Amy Nuttbrock, of Albany, California, was dropped off at Game Lake Park around 11:30 Tuesday morning by a Gold Beach resident. The man contacted authorities around 9:30 p.m. when she didn't return. He told police she was supposed to hike from Game Lake down to the mouth of Lawson Creek on the Illinois River, just above Oak Flat in Agness.
The man said Nuttbrock was not familiar with the area, did not believe she had the proper gear and was going on information provided by the US Forest Service about the Game Lake Trail.
When darkness fell and Nuttbrock did not show up, the man called the sheriff’s office, but due to darkness and rugged terrain, a plan to search was formulated by the Curry County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team for the following morning.
Search and Rescue searched several trails in the area while a Cal Ore Life Flight helicopter and a fixed wing airplane also searched overhead.
By late evening searchers had not found Nuttbrock but did find footprints and a cold fire ring indicating that she was possibly in that area. A call was placed for assistance from CORSAR (California Oregon Regional Search and Rescue) for the next operational period.
Thursday, search crews from several counties, including Josephine, Jackson, Klamath, Siskiyou and Del Norte, searched the area of Game Lake where the Curry County Command trailer was located.
Around 9:45 a.m., the helicopter, piloted by owner Dan Brattian and Sheriff John Ward, spotted Nuttbrock in a small opening among dense timber alongside a small creek called Horse Sigh Creek about one and three-quarter miles west of the Illinois River.
Around 11:45, The US Coast Guard arrived, lowered a rescue swimmer down and air lifted Nuttbrock out of the area and flew her over to the Agness airstrip where she was then flown to the Gold Beach airport via helicopter to be reunited with her father and friend from Gold Beach.
Nuttbrook suffered from hunger and scratches on her legs from going through the brush.
"We would like to thank all the Search and Rescue Members who responded from Curry County and all the other counties to help search for Amy Nuttbrock," Curry County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. "A special thanks to Dan Brattian for his time and the use of his helicopter. Dan has always been willing to stop what he is doing and lend a hand. Without Dan, we would probably still be searching."
When asked about her ordeal, police say Nuttbrock stated that she was not prepared for the conditions and assumed there would be a well-marked and maintained trail.
"This was not the case and she found herself in a life and death situation," Curry County Sheriff's Office said in a report. Nuttbrock thanked everyone for saving her life.