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Yellojacket

Oregon couple lost while picking mushrooms

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Just goes to show you should be prepared when heading into the brush. How much sooner would they have been found if they could signal, build a fire etc?

 

"Dan Conne says he and his wife and son thought they were going to die after getting lost while picking mushrooms and spending nearly a week in the rugged forest of southwest Oregon.

 

They spent the nights huddled in a hollow log and considered sacrificing their pit bull, Jesse, for food.

 

"She's that good a dog, she'd have done it, too," Conne said.

 

But help finally arrived Saturday when a volunteer helicopter pilot decided to look outside the search area and spotted the family — Dan, his wife, Belinda, and their 25-year-old son, Michael — on the edge of a deep ravine in tall timber. The three were about 10 miles from the town of Gold Beach, roughly 330 miles south-southwest of Portland.

 

"The searchers were with us within 20 minutes of the first copter that found us," Dan Conne told The Associated Press. "There must have been nine or 10 of them. They just kept coming out of that brush.

 

"lt was just a real happy feeling 'cause we knew we wasn't going to die out there.'"

 

The Connes were airlifted to a Gold Beach hospital, where they stayed overnight.

 

Dan Conne hurt his back, and Belinda Conne had hypothermia, Curry County Sheriff John Bishop said. All three were hungry, and enjoyed their potato soup and sandwiches at the hospital.

 

Belinda and Dan Conne, both 47, were discharged Sunday. Their son, who suffered frostbite, hypothermia and a sprained ankle, remained in the hospital for more treatment.

 

While lost, the cold and hungry family could see search helicopters and airplanes flying low and slow overhead. But they couldn't get the pilots' attention through the thick, coastal forest vegetation.

 

They eventually used the screen on their dead cellphone and the blade of a sheath knife to flash a signal.

 

"The wife had the Blackberry, and I had the knife," Dan Conne said. "I kept flashing. The wife said, `You're blinding them.' But I wanted to make sure they seen us. I wasn't taking no chance."

 

The family was spotted by Jackson County Commissioner John Rachor, spending his first day searching for them in his own helicopter with Curry County Sheriff's Lt. John Ward.

 

Rachor had been up two hours and decided to go outside the search area, heading uphill from where the family parked their Jeep, instead of down.

 

"We couldn't find anything in the obvious places, so we decide to go to the not-obvious places," he said.

 

Rachor is the same pilot who found a San Francisco family lost in a snowstorm in 2006 just 35 miles from where he found the Connes. In 2006, Rachor flew Kati Kim and her two young daughters to safety after spotting them near their car. James Kim died of hypothermia trying to hike out for help.

 

On Saturday, Rachor saw a movement on the edge of a deep ravine in tall timber. A man in tan bib overalls was waving his arms.

 

Ward marked the spot on his GPS and called the Coast Guard for a helicopter to winch the family out. He also called a nearby ground team to give them immediate aid, then flew back to Gold Beach for fuel.

 

The Coast Guard lifted out Michael and Dan Conne first, then returned for Belinda. The dog walked out with searchers.

 

Dan Conne said the three got lost Jan. 29 after going back for a second load of hedgehog and black trumpet mushrooms, which they sell to a local buyer. It was Belinda's day off from her motel maid job.

 

They left their four Chihuahua dogs at the fifth-wheel trailer at the campground where they live, and drove to first one spot, then returned for peanut butter sandwiches and went to a new spot they were not familiar with.

 

In the heat of the afternoon, they left their jackets at the end of a gravel road. Their last meal was a peanut butter sandwich each on Sunday.

 

When they didn't come home the first night, the camp host alerted authorities. Searchers hit the ground Monday. Wednesday, searchers found the Connes' Jeep.

 

The Connes spent the first night in rain, sheltering under a pile of brush. The second day, they built a lean-to, but it fell down. Trying to find their way out, they discovered a hollow log they could all three squeeze into, and they stayed there, covering the opening with bark and hiking downhill to a creek to fill plastic bags with water. When it rained, they tried to plug the leaks with bits of wood.

 

"It was pretty tight in there," Dan Conne said. "I'm sure a bear would have been real comfortable in there."

 

They were never able to start a fire, having no matches or lighters.

 

"Every other time we been out there, every one of us had lighters, except this time," Dan Conne said. "Rubbing sticks together? That don't work. Slamming rocks together? Only on TV.

"There was a lot of debating, back and forth, whether to stay or go. Mikey couldn't walk. If we had to leave him, that wasn't an option. Belinda was down. I could barely walk. We just didn't know which way to go."

 

Searchers found a trail and a few hopeful clues along the way: a can of Pepsi, mushroom-picking buckets, a few pieces of clothing. But not the people they were searching for.

 

At one point, the Connes spotted a search helicopter close enough for them to see the sheriff riding inside, but their attempt to signal went unseen.

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Sometimes there just isn't a cure for what you have.

 

Sometimes there just is NO appropriate comment. I wonder, did they LEARN anything? The interview doesn't read like it and you had search and rescue teams and helicopter crew out risking their lives to save these folks. That fact is seldom mentioned. Hats off to the rescue personal who gave up time and risked their lives for this family. No matches, not even a flashlight. Good Grief!

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Rubbing sticks together does work and they had a helluva head start with a knife and shoe laces. But even without those things if they had a bit of knowledge they could have been much safer and comfortable until rescue.

 

That said, a little common sense in the form of a ferro rod or lighter, whistle, emergency rain poncho etc, would have helped and all fit in a pocket.

 

/Darwin

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There's no excuse. It's one thing (almost) when tourists get in trouble in the wilderness around here, but locals should freaking know better and DO better. My uncle does search and rescue - although his expertise is apparently more recovery-of-a-body-from-a-hard-to-find-place - and he says he's continually shocked by people who do things like:

 

* Go into the woods alone

* Don't tell anyone when they are leaving, where they are going, or when to expect them back

* Don't dress appropriately even for daytime weather

* Leave without bothering to check on the weather forecast

* Ignore posted warning signs

* Disregard marked pathways and security fencing

* Don't pay attention to things like incoming tides, when the sun is going to set, etc.

* Don't bring even the most rudimentary supplies for food, water, shelter, or first aid - even if their intent is to hike in a remote location or to cover many miles

 

We often have people lost, injured, or killed in our state (and anecdotally, I'll say that the Mt. Hood area is particularly attractive for morons, while the coast seems to draw the seriously accident-prone). It's so frustrating to think of all of the money and effort that is spent on people who are in trouble due to their own stupidity, not to mention all of the risk that would-be rescuers take in order to conduct massive search operations in difficult terrain. If someone winds up needing to be rescued because of their own lack of common sense, they should pay for every expense incurred. Budgets are tight everywhere, and I don't want them pulling funds from the state police or road repairs or schools because we wind up with a bumper crop of idiots flocking to the woods in a given year!

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well people

 

I cannot go anywhere with out a jacket or my vest and I live in hot humid Texas

and my vest is a mini BOB and I always have a bottle of water in one pocket or in the console

stainless steel pint in a kooze holder so if step into the woods for some personal time I am

better equipped than most campers.

 

LMAO wahoo too funny I think i cracked a rib laughing tears are coming out of my eyes

I still giggling I need a Kleenex I am surprised they made it but as they say God looks after certain

folks

 

was the 25 year old off the short bus I could not tell from the slim description but a travel trailer

3 people 5 dogs I am not judging but that's a lot of animal farts and they may need to get

checked out for brain damage due to gas fumes..or hell just CO2 build up some one crack a window.

 

Jacket BOB

some band aids

hand full of single pack meds some foil packets of neosporin and a small roll of paper tape

my Swiss army knife and a sewing needle stuck in the tweezers

18 rounds of hydra shoks

colt agent

a BIC lighter

flashlight actually 2 have one on my key ring

mini mutitool Winchester brand

carabiner

a signal mirror looks like a credit card

a compass on a zipper fob

my billfold is a large paper clamp / clip

my cell phone

some hard candy a few packets of drink mix and coffee

2 bottles of medication one is the good stuff

Bic Stic pen

and 20+ foot of para cord

a couple of paper clips and a sewing needle

and I always wear a hat

and it is habit that as I leave my vehicle I stick one of the water bottles in my pocket

 

I feel naked with out it and even better when I take it off LOL

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well people

 

I cannot go anywhere with out a jacket or my vest and I live in hot humid Texas

and my vest is a mini BOB and I always have a bottle of water in one pocket or in the console

stainless steel pint in a kooze holder so if step into the woods for some personal time I am

better equipped than most campers.

 

LMAO wahoo too funny I think i cracked a rib laughing tears are coming out of my eyes

I still giggling I need a Kleenex I am surprised they made it but as they say God looks after certain

folks

 

was the 25 year old off the short bus I could not tell from the slim description but a travel trailer

3 people 5 dogs I am not judging but that's a lot of animal farts and they may need to get

checked out for brain damage due to gas fumes..or hell just CO2 build up some one crack a window.

 

Jacket BOB

some band aids

hand full of single pack meds some foil packets of neosporin and a small roll of paper tape

my Swiss army knife and a sewing needle stuck in the tweezers

18 rounds of hydra shoks

colt agent

a BIC lighter

flashlight actually 2 have one on my key ring

mini mutitool Winchester brand

carabiner

a signal mirror looks like a credit card

a compass on a zipper fob

my billfold is a large paper clamp / clip

my cell phone

some hard candy a few packets of drink mix and coffee

2 bottles of medication one is the good stuff

Bic Stic pen

and 20+ foot of para cord

a couple of paper clips and a sewing needle

and I always wear a hat

and it is habit that as I leave my vehicle I stick one of the water bottles in my pocket

 

I feel naked with out it and even better when I take it off LOL

 

all of that snake?! i thought you could get by with a handfull of bandaids in one pocket and a tampon in the other! LOL!!!

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well people

 

I cannot go anywhere with out a jacket or my vest and I live in hot humid Texas

and my vest is a mini BOB and I always have a bottle of water in one pocket or in the console

stainless steel pint in a kooze holder so if step into the woods for some personal time I am

better equipped than most campers.

 

LMAO wahoo too funny I think i cracked a rib laughing tears are coming out of my eyes

I still giggling I need a Kleenex I am surprised they made it but as they say God looks after certain

folks

 

was the 25 year old off the short bus I could not tell from the slim description but a travel trailer

3 people 5 dogs I am not judging but that's a lot of animal farts and they may need to get

checked out for brain damage due to gas fumes..or hell just CO2 build up some one crack a window.

 

Jacket BOB

some band aids

hand full of single pack meds some foil packets of neosporin and a small roll of paper tape

my Swiss army knife and a sewing needle stuck in the tweezers

18 rounds of hydra shoks

colt agent

a BIC lighter

flashlight actually 2 have one on my key ring

mini mutitool Winchester brand

carabiner

a signal mirror looks like a credit card

a compass on a zipper fob

my billfold is a large paper clamp / clip

my cell phone

some hard candy a few packets of drink mix and coffee

2 bottles of medication one is the good stuff

Bic Stic pen

and 20+ foot of para cord

a couple of paper clips and a sewing needle

and I always wear a hat

and it is habit that as I leave my vehicle I stick one of the water bottles in my pocket

 

I feel naked with out it and even better when I take it off LOL

 

GD Snake,do you get lost so often that you realy need all that?

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no but I hate having a splinter or something stuck between my teeth so my swiss army explorer plus has it all.

I go fishing now and again never know what you might run into and you never know when you want to leave a

note hence the pen the flash light is a stream light nano and a key chain freebie.

the winchester multitool is the small one not the honker but it has pliers wire cutters.

I like hard candy so I keep a handful on me band aids and triple antibiotic ointment in foil packs

carabiner is on my water bottle to hook on my belt

Vicodin, aspirin, benadryl pepto, and some tums some alcohol wipe pads

some single serving coffee packs friend of mine is a coffee merchant he always has sh*t I probably got a couple of family size tea bags I have not pulled it down to check my stock

and I have 3 H&k speed loaders and a full cylinder so actually 24 rounds of hydra shoks

as far as a compass it is a zipper pull type not even noticeable.

I also have a bandana and a bottle of water treatment tabs

credit card magnifier in my clamp billfold and a credit card SS mirror

I also have a fishing kit a couple splitshot, few hooks swivels with 10 foot of spiderwirei a mini zip lock baggie.

and a tiny bottle of Tabasco sauce I just found that I have no idea when I put it there

it's a 14 + pocket camera vest in in my front pocket a S&W assisted opener

my keys have a mini swiss army and a tooltech key and a hand cuff key

 

and it is not that heavy, really LOL but I never get lost and It is more of a portable BOB.

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no but I hate having a splinter or something stuck between my teeth so my swiss army explorer plus has it all.

I go fishing now and again never know what you might run into and you never know when you want to leave a

note hence the pen the flash light is a stream light nano and a key chain freebie.

the winchester multitool is the small one not the honker but it has pliers wire cutters.

I like hard candy so I keep a handful on me band aids and triple antibiotic ointment in foil packs

carabiner is on my water bottle to hook on my belt

Vicodin, aspirin, benadryl pepto, and some tums some alcohol wipe pads

some single serving coffee packs friend of mine is a coffee merchant he always has sh*t I probably got a couple of family size tea bags I have not pulled it down to check my stock

and I have 3 H&k speed loaders and a full cylinder so actually 24 rounds of hydra shoks

as far as a compass it is a zipper pull type not even noticeable.

I also have a bandana and a bottle of water treatment tabs

credit card magnifier in my clamp billfold and a credit card SS mirror

I also have a fishing kit a couple splitshot, few hooks swivels with 10 foot of spiderwirei a mini zip lock baggie.

and a tiny bottle of Tabasco sauce I just found that I have no idea when I put it there

it's a 14 + pocket camera vest in in my front pocket a S&W assisted opener

my keys have a mini swiss army and a tooltech key and a hand cuff key

 

and it is not that heavy, really LOL but I never get lost and It is more of a portable BOB.

 

I 'spose I shouldn't have said anything Snake, I have what I call my wilderness kit,which has about the same stuff-pluss a cheap poncho&a mylar blanket that goes into the woods with me.My kit is an outgrowth of spending 4 days walkingout after a boating misshap on lake superior years ago,I had a pocket tin (Prince Albert-pre altoids),and came through it ok,but descided there were some things I wanted to have if I ever had to do it again.

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yea things can turn bad out in the woods and it can happen real quick.

 

we got hogs and wild cats and feral dogs not as bad as in the UP area but anyone who becomes lax could be mauled

 

Of course up in that area I would be toting a 44 mag and buffalo bore ammo large animals in rut will attack as well as

 

territorial or mother instincts.

 

Here I am more concerned with rabid animals I know it is almost the same chance as winning the lotto but with my luck

 

I go prepared I have had problems with animals a couple of times in my life now I want to hit that damn lotto hey somewhere in the

 

universe things ought to equal out.

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no but I hate having a splinter or something stuck between my teeth so my swiss army explorer plus has it all.

I go fishing now and again never know what you might run into and you never know when you want to leave a

note hence the pen the flash light is a stream light nano and a key chain freebie.

the winchester multitool is the small one not the honker but it has pliers wire cutters.

I like hard candy so I keep a handful on me band aids and triple antibiotic ointment in foil packs

carabiner is on my water bottle to hook on my belt

Vicodin, aspirin, benadryl pepto, and some tums some alcohol wipe pads

some single serving coffee packs friend of mine is a coffee merchant he always has sh*t I probably got a couple of family size tea bags I have not pulled it down to check my stock

and I have 3 H&k speed loaders and a full cylinder so actually 24 rounds of hydra shoks

as far as a compass it is a zipper pull type not even noticeable.

I also have a bandana and a bottle of water treatment tabs

credit card magnifier in my clamp billfold and a credit card SS mirror

I also have a fishing kit a couple splitshot, few hooks swivels with 10 foot of spiderwirei a mini zip lock baggie.

and a tiny bottle of Tabasco sauce I just found that I have no idea when I put it there

it's a 14 + pocket camera vest in in my front pocket a S&W assisted opener

my keys have a mini swiss army and a tooltech key and a hand cuff key

 

and it is not that heavy, really LOL but I never get lost and It is more of a portable BOB.

 

 

Snake, I have to agree with you, I like your thinking. Like Capt. Bart keep saying, if you don't have it on you, you just don't have it. Something I have been taking very seriously since.

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Like Capt. Bart keep saying, if you don't have it on you, you just don't have it.

 

What? I'm getting repetitious now? Actually, I'm glad you found a nugget worth keeping from what I've said. Thank you for the compliment, sir.

 

I'm by my EDC like I am by a firearm. If I was EXPECTING trouble, I WOULD NOT BE THERE! Since, by definition, TSHTF event will be a surprise for me when it occurs, I try to be as prepared as possible for most things that could happen. Murphy being a bloody optimist, what happens will most likely be a total Black Swan but I do my best to be ready.

 

Just my not so humble opinion.

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What? I'm getting repetitious now? Actually, I'm glad you found a nugget worth keeping from what I've said. Thank you for the compliment, sir.

 

I'm by my EDC like I am by a firearm. If I was EXPECTING trouble, I WOULD NOT BE THERE! Since, by definition, TSHTF event will be a surprise for me when it occurs, I try to be as prepared as possible for most things that could happen. Murphy being a bloody optimist, what happens will most likely be a total Black Swan but I do my best to be ready.

 

Just my not so humble opinion.

 

Capt. Bart...... You are welcome, sir. I took the phrase out out of one of your post a while ago, and I am glad I did. Since than I have updated my EDC many times over, by trying what works and don't work and have to say I am better prepared now for all kind of scenarios, than I ever was before. Keep up the good work, so all of you other folks in this forum.

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