Search & Rescue Finds 2 Men Lost in Woods

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Two men who were lost in the Umatilla National Forest were found Tuesday by the Umatilla County Search and Rescue.

The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 4:40 a.m. on Tuesday from Pendleton resident Brent Rowan, 23, reporting that he and Scott Rice, 48, were lost in the Birch Creek area in the Umatilla National Forest. Rowan (no relation to Sheriff Terry Rowan) told the sheriff’s office that he and Rice went to shoot their guns at Indian Lake on Monday. They left the Indian Lake area around 2 p.m. and got lost on snow-covered roads and could not find their way back to town. They drove through the night in a Ford Escape, but were still lost and running low on gas. They had a working cell phone, water, and shelter in the vehicle, but no food.

The Umatilla County Search and Rescue responded, and by following cell phone and GPS data, safely located the two men shortly after 10 a.m. on Tuesday near the USFS Road 5411 Road, several miles south of Pilot Rock, and a few miles away from Indian Lake.

The Sheriff’s Office reminds everyone who goes into the woods to be prepared, always expect the unexpected even for a short trip. Be oriented to the area, have a map, compass, food, water, and basic survival gear that would allow you to survive overnight. If you become lost, stay put.