Man Stranded In Oregon Wilderness Uses Drone To Call For Help

March 10, 2023

A motorist had become stuck in the snow in a remote region of Willamette National Forest in Oregon.

He used a drone to call for help.

lost man uses drone and iphone to save himself
Photo via Lane County Sheriff's Search and Rescue

The man attempted to traverse a snow-covered road when his vehicle became stuck in the snow and he did not have cell service to call for help.

Making his situation worse, his family was out of the country and nobody knew where he had gone or to call for help if he didn't make it home.

So, he used some ingenuity to find a way to call for help.

The man had a drone with him and attached his cell phone to the drone. He then typed a text message to a trusted person describing his situation and exact location, hit send, and launched the drone several hundred feet into the air. The increased elevation allowed his phone to connect to a tower and send the message.

lost man drone phone for help
Lane County Sheriff's Search and Rescue

His plan worked.

Members of Lane County Sheriff's Search and Rescue were deployed and assisted him out of his situation. While teams were rescuing the man, they also rescued another motorist who had been stranded for several days in the snow.

Officials said they were impressed with the man's creativity - but advised people to heed their warnings during wintertime travel.

They urged people to "always tell a responsible person exactly where you are going, and when you expect to be back".

Additionally, they said most rescue missions they have conducted this winter involved bigger vehicles, whose owners told rescuers they did not think they would get stuck.

"Instead of asking yourself whether you think you can get through a section of road, ask yourself 'what will happen if I do get stuck?'"

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