QUINAULT, Wash. - Two men were lost in the woods above Lake Quinault over the weekend, one heavy searcher even broke his ankle and had to be taken out on a one-wheeled stretcher. But this was all in the interest of training. "They've been lost for about 24 hours, and we don't know if they hit the lake trail - heading up towards Three Lakes, or the North Fork trail going to Wolf Bar." said Lt. Dave Porter.
Porter and Deputy Sean Gow from the Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Department coordinated search efforts for the mock-victims at the North Fork trailhead on Sunday. In fairness to Ocean Shores fireman Travis Bearden - who threw himself on his ankle to further the training experience, the stretchers (called a Stoke) are pretty heavy on their own.
The search capped a weekend of training for the Grays Harbor Volunteer Search and Rescue group. "We would not be able to do our mission without you guys volunteering these hours" said Porter during a debrief.
Just a few miles down a nearby dusty road, a 9-member crew from the same group rescued a woman with a leg injury that had hiked 9 miles into the Olympic National Park over the Memorial day weekend. She had to be transported about seven miles on a stoke.
The weekend's training netted 10 new members for the group of about 50. They can use everyone from first responders to loud-mouthed radio personalities, for details visit www.ghvsar.org