DESCHUTES COUNTY SAR RESCUES SKIER FROM TREE WELL
Posted on FlashAlert: February 6th, 2016 6:56 PM
Released by: Deputy Jeff Winters, Assistant SAR Coordinator
Occurred: 02/06/2016 at 1120 a.m.
Location: Tumalo Mountain near Dutchman Flat
Subject: Gary Kean, 62 yrs, Bend resident
On 02/06/2016 at about 11:20 a.m., Deschutes County 911 received a call from Gary Kean reporting he had fallen into a tree well while skiing down Tumalo Mountain towards Dutchman Flat and needed assistance getting out. Kean reported he was not injured and was well equipped with warm clothing, food, water and a whistle.
Cell phone coverage in that area is inconsistent making the coordinates obtained by 911 from Kean’s phone unreliable. At about 12:35 p.m., DCSO Search and Rescue was activated and deployed a team of 11 volunteers and two deputies to search for Kean using snowmobiles and a ground team on snow shoes.
Due to the poor cell phone coverage in that area, additional contact with Kean via text or phone call was not possible, making all efforts to confirm his location unsuccessful.
At about 2:25 p.m., the search team came into audible contact with Kean, reporting they could hear him blowing his emergency whistle. After several more minutes pin pointing Kean’s exact location, SAR members were able to assist Kean out of the tree well and assess his condition.
Kean was treated on scene for cold exposure, but was otherwise uninjured. At about 3:15 p.m., the SAR team began assisting Kean down to the Dutchman Flat plateau. Upon arriving at Dutchman Flat, Kean was given a ride via snowmobile back to his vehicle.
The SAR team stated that Kean was experienced and well equipped for the activity he was participating in. The Sheriff’s Office wants to remind the public that emergencies can happen at any time and urges the public to always prepare for the unexpected when recreating in the back country.