Released by: Deputy Donny Patterson – Assistant Search and Rescue Coordinator
Date/time: 12/16/21 at 4:05 PM
Location: Southeast of Moon Mountain, Bend, OR
Rescued Subjects: 56 year old male – Winnemucca, NV
38 year old male – Bend, OR
On 12/16/21, at about 4:05 PM, the Deschutes County 911 Dispatch Center received a 911 call from a lost snowmobile rider in the area of Moon Mountain located southwest of Bend in Deschutes County, Oregon. The lost 56-year-old male was from out of the area and riding with a friend (a Bend resident) from the Dutchman Snow Park towards the snowmobile area near Moon Mountain.
Due to weather, snow conditions, and unfamiliarity of the elaborate trail system the two riders quickly became disoriented and could not self rescue out of the area without assistance. The two riders, rode through this general area for approximately an hour and a half as they lost daylight and notice they were getting more and more disoriented. The winds in this area at the time were strong and blowing snow in all directions inhibiting their ability to see snowmobile trails.
The two lost subjects, that were on separate snowmobiles then called 911 for assistance. A Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Special Services Deputy assigned to Search and Rescue made initial phone contact with the lost subjects. Through phone conversation it was determined that Search and Rescue resources were needed to safely assist these riders back out of the area. The two riders remained at the location where they had cell service.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (SAR) snowmobile team was activated. Eight SAR team members responded to the page and two snowmobile teams consisting of 6-SAR members deployed to the Dutchman Snow Park with snowmobiles from the SAR team office.
As the two SAR teams arrived in the area (within a couple hundred yards of the subjects) the poor visibility and current weather conditions made travel in the dark unsafe for a snowmobile rescue. The SAR teams then deployed onto snowshoes and began to hike further into the area to locate subjects making contact at approximately 2001 hours. The lost subjects were well equipped for the weather, uninjured and in good health. The two SAR teams then escorted the lost subjects on their snowmobiles back out of the area to their vehicles at Dutchman Snow Park.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is a full service agency that oversees the adult jail, provides patrol, criminal investigations, civil process and search and rescue operations. Special units include SWAT, Marine Patrol, ATV Patrol, Forest Patrol, along with five K9 teams. Founded in 1916 and today led by your duly elected Sheriff L. Shane Nelson, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office serves over 200,000 residents in Deschutes County. The agency has 259 authorized and funded personnel, which includes 191 sworn employees who provide services to the 3,055 square miles of Deschutes County.