Marin County Sheriff's Office
Search & Rescue

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Fort Baker Search 12/25/2002

Marin SAR responded 28 members and two CARDA dog teams on Christmas night for a missing 30 y.o. female. The emotionally distressed woman who was reported by her family to be bipolar, had walked away form her home after dark, barefoot and in light clothing in the rain. A Sausalito Police unit caught up with the woman in Ft. Baker, two miles away from her house, only to have her run down a steep hillside covered in dense vegetation towards the bay. After Sausalito, Sheriff’s and Park Police units were unsuccessful in locating her, SAR was requested to respond. SAR member’s line searched the hillside and after several hours located the woman, severely injured and hypothermic, at the base of a 50 foot cliff. SAR members transitioned into a medical response and quickly deployed a low angle rescue team to stabilize and package her. A Z-rig was then used to haul her up the cliff to a waiting Presidio Fire Rescue Unit. The woman was hospitalized for several weeks but should recover from her injuries

Marin Headlands Search 12/21/2002

SAR was requested by US Park Police to assist in the search for a missing despondent man whose abandon car was located at Battery Spencer in the Marin Headlands. Twenty-five members responded with three CARDA dog teams, US Coast Guard and a CHP helicopter and covered a wide area around the point last known. The search area included steep cliffs with difficult shoreline access. The subject was not located and remains missing.

McNears Beach Search 11/22/2002

Just after midnight, SAR was requested to respond for a missing 23 y.o. male who was missing and likely in a small boat off McNears beach, east of San Rafael. The missing subject has sustained a head injury several months earlier that had recently led to him make poor judgment calls. Eighteen members responded with two CARDA dog teams to cover the shoreline areas along China Camp State Park, McNears Point and beach. US Coast Guard responded two boats to cover the bay off McNears along with a CHP helicopter. At 0430, Sheriff’s communications advised they received information that the subject had been cited for fare evasion by BART Police in Oakland at 0200 hrs. The search was suspended. An abandoned canoe was located on the east side of the bay across from McNears beach later in the morning.

San Rafael Search 11/16/2002

Marin SAR was activated to search the area around the Contempo mobile home park Marin off Smith Ranch Road for two missing boys, 7 and 8, who were four hours overdue from a walk. As SAR was setting up a command post they were located about four miles away by San Rafael Police in good condition.

Marinwood Search 11/10/2002

SAR was requested to respond for a missing 11 y.o. autistic boy who walked away from his home after dark. As SAR was responding, the subject was located by a deputy walking around a local grocery store.

Mt. Tam Search 11/10/2002

Marin SAR was put first on standby and then activated for a woman lost on Mt. Tamalpais in contact with dispatch on a cell phone. She was not familiar with the trailhead she left from or the area. Her car was found by Rangers after her cell phone battery went dead. As SAR was arriving on scene a State Park Ranger located her on a trail near Rock Springs.

Kentfield Alzheimer’s search 11/10/2002

SAR was activated to assist deputies in searching for a missing elderly man with Alzheimer’s who was the subject of a previous search in March. As SAR was responding a family member located him down with a head injuring, nearby at the College of Marin. He was taken to Marin General where he recovered enough to return home the next day.

China Camp Search 9/27/2002

Twenty-eight Marin SAR members responded with Deputies, Mounted Posse, CARDA Dogs teams, Open space and State Park Rangers after a 38 y.o. male with psychological problems became separated from his party while hiking in the park, about 6 miles east of San Rafael. A command Post was established a Back Ranch Meadows campground parking lot and teams were deployed in the field. About two hours into the search the subject was located through investigation at his care home in San Leandro. The subject was able to sneak back into one of the three institutions vans and was headed home prior to the arrival of SAR or Deputies.

San Mateo Mutual Aid 9/20/2002

Marin SAR was requested to respond at first light for a missing male with psychological problems after he went missing from a YMCA camp in Pescadero Beach. San Mateo and Alameda Sheriff’s SAR units were on scene with several CARDA K-9 teams. Marin SAR was canceled prior to departing the County after the missing subject was located by Pacifica Police at 2:30 AM riding a bike he took from the camp and rode 30 miles up State Route 1.

Law Enforcement support mission 9/14/2002

Thirteen members responded to assist deputies and NPS rangers on a law enforcement mission. The SAR team was committed for 10 hours.

Missing person in Pt. Reyes National Seashore 9/11/2002

Twenty-six SAR members, five CARDA dog teams and a Posse horse team responded to North Beach to assist NPS Rangers in searching for a missing and possibly despondent man whose van was located in the beach parking lot. Member’s area searched a wide area that included beach, sand dunes and farmland for 8 hours. Sheriff’s Air patrol also assisted in the search. The subject was not located and remains missing.

Del Norte mutual aid 9/2/2002

Ten Marin SAR members responded on a planned search to assist Del Norte SAR in another effort to locate the remains of Shawn Baggett. Shawn Baggett was a 52 y.o. male who went missing during a storm while picking gourmet mushrooms. The first search spanned five days and included teams from Humboldt, Mendocino, San Mateo, CARDA and Marin in November 2001, during a time of poor weather and cold tempetures. The search area ranged between 2000 to 300ft with dense vegetation and steep drainages. Five teams were deployed during the September effort into side drainage’s of Hardscrabble Canyon. Several hours into the search and Marin/CARDA team located Baggett’s remains. Other teams were redeployed into the area to cover a wide area around the first remains located.

Missing toddler in Corte Madera 8/28/2002

Twin Cities Police requested SAR within minutes after a 1½ year old walked away from his house. As SAR was responding the child was located by a Police Unit several blocks away.

Marin SAR member detailed to 1SRG mission in Peru 8/15/2002

Marin SAR member Jason Flesher responded with the 1st Special Response group for assist local authorities in the search for a missing American hiker and his Peruvian companion. The team worked for a week with the family and local authorities in remote areas where the couple was last seen. Five days after the team returned home the couple was located deceased off a popular trekking route. The team was able to assist the family and local authorities in obtaining significant information. (

Contra Costa Mutual Aid 7/24/2002

Twenty-eight Marin SAR members responded to assist Contra Costa Sheriff’s SAR and Pinole Police in the search for a missing 24 y.o. female after her car was located in a park with her purse and keys in a nearby trash can. The woman was reported missing out of Illinois a week earlier. Teams fanned out and hasty search a nearby creek and located more of the subjects clothing and several empty packets of sleeping pills. The search area was difficult due to thick vegetation that included a lot of poison oak, steep river banks that required teams to rope gear to access and deep pools. At 3:00AM, 8 hours into the search, a Marin CARDA dog team alerted and was able to make voice contact with the subject on a ridge on the South side of the search area. She was able to walk out part of the way and then was assisted by a Contra Costa team through thick brush. She was transported by ambulance with an altered mental status and dehydration.

Humboldt Mutual Aid 7/24/2002

Fifteen Marin SAR members started for Kneeland Airport in Humboldt County to assist in the search for a missing aircraft. The single engine aircraft was missing for over 20 hours and was believed to have crashed with 20 miles on the Kneeland Airport. The search was hampered by low clouds and fog in the area. As members were in route a USCG helicopter located the wreckage in trees, about 7 miles from the Kneeland Airport. The pilot was deceased.

Yosemite Operations 7/19/2002

Marin SAR assisted Rangers in Yosemite National Park with traffic control for several hours while they worked a major injury accident on Hwy. 120, above the Yosemite Valley. On several other occasions, Marin Teams were deployed with teams from CAL-ESAR to assist hikers on P-SAR missions. These teams assisted Rangers with three medical aids and also pumped water for thirsty hikers that ran our in remote areas of the trail.

Contra Costa Mutual Aid 7/8/2002

Twenty-three Marin SAR members responded with a command post and ATV’s around midnight to assist Contra Costa Sheriff’s SAR and San Ramon Police searching for a missing 88 y.o. female with Alzheimer’s who separated from her son in a grocery store earlier in the evening. Teams were deployed in the neighborhoods, parks, creeks and open space areas around the shopping center. As fresh teams arrived from Alameda Sheriff’s SAR, CARDA and CAL-ESAR, an alert Samaritan located the missing subject wandering around a school about two miles away from the point last seen, around 7:00AM. She was in fair condition.

San Rafael Alzheimer’s search 7/3/2002

SAR was requested by San Rafael Police to assist in the search for a missing 56 y.o. woman Alzheimer’s walkaway from her house. Through investigation, San Rafael PD developed a point last seen in the Civic Center Library, 17 hours after she walked away from her house. Thirty members responded to a command post set up at the Marin County Civic Center Sheriff’s Office and deployed to cover a wide area around the Civic Center grounds. Six hours into the search, a San Rafael Police Officer located her in the downtown area of San Rafael, six miles from her house and three miles from the Library PLS. She was in good condition.

Alameda County Mutual Aid 6/9/2002

Twelve Marin SAR members responded to Hayward to assist in the search for a missing 6 y.o. boy who disappeared from an apartment building the prior afternoon. At 6am the next morning, Marin SAR joined Hayward PD, CARDA Dog teams, Alameda, Contra Costa and San Mateo Sheriff’s SAR Units in searching the surrounding areas. At around 8am in the morning, the subject was located deceased in a nearby apartment during the search effort. A suspect is in custody and the incident is still under investigation.

Mill Valley Search 6/8/2002

SAR was requested to respond when an elderly woman became separated from her daughter at a trailhead to Mt. Tamalpais in Mill Valley. Mill Valley Police and Fire searched the area for over an hour prior to calling in the SAR Team. As SAR members began to arrive on scene, Marin General Hospital called and said they had the subject. She had been found injured by a passerby and was placed on a bus by the Samaritan and advised to go to the hospital.

Novato Search 5/31/2002

Marin SAR responded for a missing 9 y.o. boy who left during the middle of school. Marin SAR joined Novato PD at the command post in the school and began a search of the surrounding area. As teams were being deployed, the student returned to school.

Mill Valley Search 5/27/2002

Marin SAR was requested to respond for a missing 6 y.o. boy who disappeared in a crowd after participating in a parade. Thirty-four SAR members responded to assisted Mill Valley Police in the search. Teams began searching a half mile-radius around the Point Last Seen. About two hours into the search the child was located at a friends house through investigation.

Adubone Canyon search 4/23/2002

Marin SAR was requested to respond for a missing 4 y.o. boy who wandered from his family on a hike. Family members, Bolinas Fire, Deputies and National Park Rangers initialed a hasty search of the area. As SAR was responding a family member located the boy several hundred yards from the point last seen, on a trail that had been covered several times. He was in good health.

Big Rock Ridge search 4/23/2002

Marin SAR was requested to respond for a missing 7 y.o. girl who became separated from her class while on a nature hike. Deputies, Rangers and school officials were active in a hasty search when be began to arrive. As initial assignments were going out a hiker called the school and asked if they were missing a student. She had made it to the top of the ridge and was located by a hiker on a remote fire trail. She was in good health.

Mt. Tam Rescue 4/21/2002

While finishing our new recruit training, Water District Rangers requested a carry-out team for a woman with bi-lateral ankle injuries on the Bon Tempe Lake trail. Fourteen Marin SAR members responded and provided medical assistance, packaged and carried the patient about a mile to waiting fire units at the trailhead.

Mt. Tam search 4/18/2002

Marin SAR was requested to assist in the search for a woman who called on a cell phone stating she injured her leg and needed assistance, but was not sure about her location. Marin County Fire and Rangers began the search in the Rock Springs area. As we were responding she was able to self extricate.

San Rafael evidence search 4/16/2002

Twelve Marin SAR members responded to assist detectives for an attempted homicide. Members put in two hours each.

Kentfield search 3/23/2002

Thirty five Marin SAR members responded to search for a 76 y.o. man with Parkinson’s disease who became delusional with a medical problem. With assistance from Deputies, Kentfield, Ross and Larkspur Fire Department’s and 3 CARDA teams a search began of the Ross Valley area. Four hours into the search a bus driver who had heard a B.O.L. recognized the confused man on the transit bus in San Francisco and held him until deputies could pick him up. He was treated and released to return home within several hours.

Muir Woods Search 3/15/2002

At 7:30 PM Park Police dispatch received a 911 transfer from a woman who said she was lost with her family in the area of Muir Woods National Monument. They then lost contact with her. National Park Rangers searched the trails on the valley floor and then requested a SAR response when they could not locate them. Marin SAR responded with 25 members and were assisted by 10 Muir Beach volunteer firefighters, Marin County Fire, 5 CARDA dog teams, the Sonoma County Sheriff helicopter, deputies and State Park rangers. When the their vehicle was located, an inhaler and glucose kit were found along with a child car seat. With that information combined with temperatures in the 30’s, it was determined to be a high urgency search. Hasty search assignments were initiated to cover the extensive trail network that surrounds Muir Woods. At midnight, a Marin team located the family of four, cold but in good condition on the Ocean View trail, in State Park lands above Muir Woods. The family, on vacation from Southern California, left to take a short hike at about 4 PM and become lost after nightfall.

Marinwood Evidence Search 3/13/2002

Eighteen members responded to assist Area 3 patrol deputies in an evidence search. each member put in 2 hours.

Sonoma County Mutual Aid 2/21/2002

Sonoma SAR requested mutual aid at nearly the same time as Contra Costa for a search on a walk-away from the Sonoma Valley State Mental Hospital the previous day. Due to limited resources for this incident our second wave responded to the Sonoma search. At 7:30 AM the missing subject walked out of a brushy drainage and was located. Our responding team then diverted to the Contra Costa incident.

Contra Costa Mutual aid 2/21/2002

Seven members responded at 2 AM to assist Contra Costa SAR and San Ramon Police in the search of a despondent 13 y.o. male who went missing the previous afternoon. Another eight members responded for a second operational period and assisted with search management and field assignments. Later in the day another nine members responded for a total of 24 Marin members on scene. A wide area around the PLS was searched. The effort was suspended 26 hours after it began. The next day the subject was located by Police in a bookstore about 10 miles away. Be apparently broke into a ball field shack to sleep and read magazines for two days at a nearby book store. He was unaware of the search effort. Other responding teams included Alameda, CAL-ESAR, California Youth Authority SAR teams and Aircraft from Air National Guard, Oakland P.D. and Contra Costa S.O.

San Diego Mutual aid 2/17/2002

Operations Coordinator Michael St. John responded for the Danielle van Dam search as a technical specialist for abduction incidents to assist San Diego Search and Rescue and Police. San Diego SAR fielded 80 searchers during the one day operation. This was their fifth day searching for Danielle.

San Rafael evidence search 2/12/2002

Eighteen Marin SAR members responded to assist San Rafael PD search for evidence for evidence after a homicide. Members put in two hours each.

Solano County mutual aid 2/10/2002

Fourteen Marin SAR members responded over two days to plan and search for an missing 84 y.o. Alzheimer’s patient that was the subject of a previous search effort in the city of Fairfield 30 days earlier. Five members responded Saturday to assist in planning the search and another nine members took part in the search the next day. The search area was divided into two Divisions and over 70 people participated in the effort on Sunday. She was not located. Other participating teams were Solano, Napa, Alameda and Contra Costa search and rescue teams and five CARDA k-9 teams.

Car over the cliff, unknown location 2/6/2002

Marin SAR was requested to assist in the search for a man who was on his cell phone saying that he was severely injured in an accident when he drove off a cliff, but did not know where he was. Members mobilized in Mill Valley after dispatch was able to put him in the Southern Marin area, likely off Hwy. 1. Numerous Sheriff , Park Rangers and Police units had been searching for an hour. As we deployed from Mill Valley a State Park Ranger located the vehicle and subject, 300 ft over a cliff off Hwy.1, with two fractured legs and a head injury. Marin SAR stood by until fire advised they had sufficient resources for a carryout.

Mt. Tam search 2/2/2002

Twenty SAR members responded to assist Water District Rangers search for 2 missing male teenagers from San Francisco who did not return home form a hike. By 3:30 am, 8 teams had cleared their destination point, the Carson falls drainage and were expanding the search. Other ATV teams cleared the surrounding fire roads. Mutual aid was requested from Sonoma, Contra Costa and CAL-ESAR as well as a CHP helicopter, Mounted Posse Open space Rangers. Twenty more Marin SAR members responded who were taking a First Responder class. Five CARDA also joined the search. At 9:00 AM the two were located on the San Geronimo Ridge Fire road. The two had strayed into the Pine Mountain area and went off the road. They stayed warm by putting their small dog in their coat. When daylight came, they found their way back to the road and started to walk out. 76 searchers assisted in the effort.

San Rafael evidence search 1/25/2002

Marin SAR responded to assist San Rafael PD around midnight look for a weapon after a homicide. Six members responded in the pouring rain and quickly resolved the search.

Mt. Tam Search 1/9/2002

Marin SAR activated a hasty team to assist Water District Rangers in searching for a couple who were lost on the North side of Mt. Tam, but in contact with cell phone. ATV’s and three ground teams were deployed. The subjects were located on the Kent trail by a hasty team around midnight, cold and happy to be headed home.

Nicasio Search 1/1/2002

Marin was activated for a 14 y.o. male who went missing from his rural farm house and was 6 hours overdue. As SAR was arriving a family friend located the subject at an adjacent house in good condition.