Teens save own lives by writing SOS in the snow

sos snow
Photo credit Getty Images

Two teenagers who didn't return as planned from a camping trip in the Oregon mountains were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard after writing an "SOS" sign in the snow.

The two 19-year-olds went camping and hiking near Swastika Mountain, southeast of Eugene, around Christmas Day and were expected back on December 29. When the teens never returned, a missing persons report was filed on New Year's Eve.

The Lane County Sheriff's Office launched a search, but deputies ran into difficulties with recent heavy snowfall covering the mountain roads. The office then requested helicopter support from the Coast Guard to take their search to the sky.

The Coast Guard Sector North Bend MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew launched on Saturday and quickly located the two teens, who had signaled for help in the snow.

"These young men did a lot of things right to give themselves the best chance of being rescued," Lt. Maggie Champin, MH-65 aircraft commander, said in a statement. "By writing ‘SOS’ in the snow, staying near their vehicle and staying near logging roads, we were able to find them relatively quickly."

The Coast Guard released video of the rescue, showing one of the teens being hoisted into a helicopter. Neither teen was injured.

While transporting the teens to the Eugene Airport, the Coast Guard crew spotted two other people who needed help and passed their location on to searchers in Lane County.

The Coast Guard recommends that hikers carry personal locator beacons while out in the back country. The devices send one-way emergency distress signals from remote locations so search and rescue teams know where to look if you need help.

LISTEN on the Audacy App
Sign Up and Follow Audacy
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images