Multiple agencies had to look for him while he was outdoors for two nights, and he lived to tell the tale.
Staying active as a senior adult is crucial for our wellbeing and many would agree, including 71-year-old Joseph Dean, from Oregon. However, Joe went down the offbeat path while enjoying his time doing his favorite activity outdoors and ended up getting lost. Multiple agencies had to look for him while he was outdoors for two nights, and he lived to tell the tale.
The 71-year-old was reported missing on the night of May 8 and was found two days later near the Horsetail Creek Trail in Multnomah County, Oregon, according to the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office. The 71-year-old had initially planned to hike a 12-mile loop from Horsetail Falls, along the Rock of Ages Ridge, and return through the Oneonta Creek Trail. However, he got lost midway through his journey, as per People.com. The senior man ended up spending two nights under the open sky.
Rescue teams had been looking for him for 24 hours before a full-scale search operation, involving multiple agencies, was conducted. Using cell phone data, officials were able to pinpoint the general area where the 71-year-old could be found. They deployed a drone and an airplane for aerial searches in the area. Joseph was able to walk with assistance and talk when he was found.
Joe Dean has been FOUND near the Rock of Ages Ridge. He is conscious and breathing. Rescuers are hiking to his location to help get him down safely. pic.twitter.com/emOuHtSnUH— Multnomah Co. Sheriff’s Office (@MultCoSO) May 10, 2021
"He’s doing well and is being assisted back to the command post. Thank you to the dedicated members of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Search-and-Rescue team," Sheriff Mike Reese said, according to KATU.
"The trails in these areas are not maintained, indistinguishable and overgrown," deputies noted in a press release, as per People.com. "This area has been closed since the fire."
The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office had been updating Joseph's status through Twitter on May 10. Around 11.20 pm they wrote, "He is being carried in a wheeled basket. His family is waiting for his return. Once he arrives, he will be evaluated by paramedics. Thank you to all the searchers!"
Joe Dean is down safely. He has been reunited with family. Dean is being transported to the hospital for further evaluation. pic.twitter.com/NxFX5FzHOo— Multnomah Co. Sheriff’s Office (@MultCoSO) May 10, 2021
Around 4 am on May 11, the Sherrif's office wrote, "Thank you to all the search and rescue members, many of whom are volunteers, that participated in this successful, multi-day search! Some members spent more than 24 hours on the trail at a time. They are the best in the Northwest!"
Joseph was found "conscious and breathing" when found on the morning of May 10. Medical personnel gave him first aid before bringing him down in a stretcher. Only half a mile away, his family waited for him and he was reunited with them. He was then transported to a local hospital. They would have had a mighty scare after getting his message that he was lost. Joseph had messaged his wife on the night of May 8 about his status.
Thank you to all the search and rescue members, many of whom are volunteers, that participated in this successful, multi-day search! Some members spent more than 24 hours on the trail at a time. They are the best in the Northwest!— Multnomah Co. Sheriff’s Office (@MultCoSO) May 10, 2021
Final press release: https://t.co/VMl5KqhyGv
He was lucky as he had brought thermal leggings, a jacket, and a balaclava on his hike and had enough snacks to ration them for two nights. He didn't intend to stay the night but he had gone prepared. He had run out of drinking water by the time he was found by the authorities. "I thought today was quite do or die," his son, William Dean, told local news outlet KATU on Monday. "I've always said he's the person I want to be stuck out overnight with by accident, so I'm really glad he was able to get out of here."
Cover image source: Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Twitter