Marin County Sheriff's Office
Search & Rescue

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San Rafael Evidence Search 12/23/2006

Twenty-three members responded for a half day long evidence search for a homicide. Members logged 6 hours each.

Mt. Tam Search 12/22/2006

Twenty Marin SAR members responded for a missing male hiker on the North side of Mt. Tamalpais in Marin Water District Lands. The missing hiker was in cell phone contact and was lost off trail. Four teams were deployed to support Water District Rangers in the field near Rocky Ridge. A short time into the search a ranger was able to locate the lost subject with voice calls and after some effort made their way back to the trail. SAR members were committed for four hours each.

Muir Beach Search 11/28/2006

Twenty-five SAR members responded with NPS Rangers late Wednesday night to search for Michael Carnese, a 30 y.o. male whose car was located at the Muir Beach Parking lot. The car had been there for two days before Rangers determined the subject was missing and his family reported he was very despondent. A wide area hasty search was conducted with no clues late Wednesday night. On Thursday, thirteen members responded with 5 CARDA K-9 teams, NPS Rangers and aviation support from Coast Guard, Sonoma Henry 1, CHP H-32 and the Marin Air Patrol. Numerous clues were located, but there was no sign of Carnese after an all day effort. The case remains open. See link to article. Follow up news article

San Pedro Ridge Recovery 11/24/2006

Seventeen members responded to assist the Coroner and Deputies for a carryout of a fatal mountain bike accident victim. Patient was ¾ of a mile from the trailhead on the Bay View Trail in China Camp State Park. Members were committed for 3 hours.

National Seashore Search, Day 2 12/10/2006

Thirteen members and two Marin K-9 teams returned to search additional areas in hopes of finding clues in the disappearance of George Luchuk, whose car was located at the North Beach Parking lot November 6th. No addition clues were located.

National Seashore Search 11/9/2006

Eighteen Marin SAR members responded for a missing 33 y.o. male, George Lechuk, whose car was located abandoned by NPS Rangers in the North Beach Parking lot. Rangers later confirmed the subject was missing out of San Jose. Supported by seven CARDA K-9 teams, Mounted Posse, seven members from CAL-ESAR and CHP H-32, a wide area was searched around the North Beach Parking area. No clues were found and the subject remains missing. See link to article.

Marin City Evidence Search, Day 2 10/27/2006

Twelve members responded back out for another evidence search in Marin City after more information came to light. Members logged three hours each.

Marin City Evidence Search 10/21/2006

Seventeen members responded for an evidence search after a homicide. Members logged three hours each.

Mill Valley Search 10/14/2006

Thirty-three Marin SAR members responded to assist Sheriff Deputies for a missing teenager at risk and last known to be headed into the front county wilderness in the GGNRA. Members were deployed on numerous trail assignments and also assisted with investigation. The missing subject was located through investigation about three hours into the search. Other assisting agencies included National Park Service and Southern Marin Fire.

Lake County Mutual Aid 10/9/2006

Fourteen Marin SAR members responded mutual aid over two days for a missing 38 y.o. woman from an off road vehicle recreation area on BLM lands in remote southern Lake County near the boarder of Napa County. Marin members assisted in management of the search and were deployed on numerous field assignments. On the morning of day two of the search, the woman was located about 10 miles away when she was found by a ranch hand hypothermic and dehydrated. She had last been seen by a boyfriend early Sunday morning when she disappeared after an argument when his truck broke down. There was a thirteen hour delay in her being reported missing. Other responding agencies supporting Lake County SAR included Napa, Solano, Sonoma, Mendocino, Humboldt, Placer, Sacramento, CARDA and extensive helicopter support from CDF.

Alameda County Mutual Aid 9/23/2006

Fourteen members responded for a large scale abduction search for Nina Reiser, a 31 y.o. female with two small children who disappeared under suspicious circumstances in the Oakland Hills September 3, 2006. A 130 ground searchers representing nearly all Bay Area counties responded on the all day search operation led by Alameda County SAR and Oakland Police Department. Marin members assisted with managing the operation and fielded a number of ground teams. No significant clues were located.

City of San Rafael Evidence Search 9/12/2006

Twelve Marin SAR members responded for a request from San Rafael PD to assist in locating a hand gun used in a homicide. The hand gun was found shortly after the search started by SAR members and many additional items were also located.

San Pedro Ridge Search 8/27/2006

San Rafael Fire requested a SAR response for a possible down and missing mountain biker. As units were responding the biker was located by a ranger off the ridge. She was injured, but able to ride out.

Missing hiker Muir Beach 8/23/2006

NPS Rangers requested Marin SAR start for a missing hiker in the Golden Gate National Recreation area who was last seen in a field by the Zen Center seven hours previously and appeared to be missing under suspicious circumstances. The missing subject made her way home as we were responding in good shape.

Contra Costa Mutual Aid 8/11/2006

Thirteen Marin SAR members responded to Bradford Island in the Delta for a missing 20 month old boy last seen by his mother the prior afternoon. Bradford Island is a remote agricultural island, requiring a ferry to access the search area. The night before Contra Costa SAR deployed 40 members along with K-9 teams and divers. Shortly after we arrived on scene and started working, the body of the child was located in the water 300 feet from the house by a US Coast Guard boat.

Mt. Tam Rescue 7/30/2006

Nine members responded to assist Marin County Fire, Ross Valley Fire and Water District Rangers in the rescue of a woman who fell 50 ft off the side of the trail down a steep embankment on the Cataract trail. Two members made it to the scene and assisted while the others stood by at the trail head until Sonoma Henry 1 completed the short haul of the patient. She was transported to Memorial in Santa Rosa in serious condition.

Santa Cruz Mutual Aid 7/26/2006

Eight members deployed from Marin at 5:30 AM to assist Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office and State Park Rangers in the search for four missing hikers who did not return after a day hike in Big Basin State Park. Marin SAR members were split into two teams and deployed for several hours searching trails, until a team contacted a hiker and received word the four were safe and hiking out. Another team from Monterey intercepted the group and learned the missing party had been taken care of overnight by girl Scouts on a backpacking trip. While en-route home, Marin SAR was first on scene and assisted SFFD on a major injury accident in San Francisco involving 5 people, managing airway, C-spine and assisting with extrication.

Yosemite Mutual Aid 7/20/2006

Twenty members assisted YOSAR in a search below the Arches route for clues to assist in the investigation in the fatal accident of the trail worker. Members needed to rappel and climb several areas below the Arches and Devils Bath Tub during the search.

Yosemite Mutual Aid 7/13/2006

Five members of Marin SAR responded a Type 1 Alpine SAR team to assist in the search for a missing Park trail worker who went missing in the Yosemite Creek area between the Valley and Tioga road two days prior. As members arrived at the search, word came he was located deceased near the Arches climbing route by a park helicopter. The Arches climbing route became the focus of the search after a climber reported a clue several hours earlier. The subject apparently had fallen about 1000 feet.

National Seashore Rescue Request 6/28/2006

NPS Rangers requested a technical rescue team to extract a stranded despondent fall victim at near Kehoe Beach off of Pierce Point. As a seven member technical team was en-route, rangers made their way to the subject and found a non-technical route out.

Mt. Tam Search 6/7/2006

Water District Rangers requested a SAR response for a missing developmentally disabled hiker who became separated from his group. As SAR was enroot, the missing subject made his way back to the trailhead in good condition.

Dillon Beach Search 5/28/2006

Marin SAR was placed on standby for a missing four year old boy even before deputies arrived on scene. County Fire located the boy shortly after they arrived on scene in good condition.

Mt. Tam Rescue 5/13/2006

Marin SAR was started for a hiker down on the Cataract trail. Response was cancelled when the subject was able to hike out.

Mill Valley Search 5/3/2006

Marin SAR responded Twelve members to assist Mill Valley PD to assist in the search for a missing woman under suspicious circumstances near the Dipsea Trail in Mill Valley. As teams were deploying, the woman was located through investigation at the College of Marin Library.

Alpine County Standby 4/24/2006

Marin SAR was on standby to respond a Type 1 Mountain Rescue Team to Alpine County for a 42 y.o. snow boarder injured in remote river drainage. Two ski patrollers were with the victim overnight, but due to fog they were unable to access the patient with a helicopter. A short time later we learned a Fallon NAS helicopter was able to land and remove the patient.12

Mendocino County Mutual Aid 4/17/2006

Fifteen members responded in two waves to assist Mendocino SAR for a missing autistic 8 y.o. boy near Ft. Bragg who went missing in dense forest during an Easter egg hunt the prior afternoon. Marin members worked in management functions and in field teams. At 1PM, or 22 hours after he was last seen, the boy was located 1.25 miles away near a fire road, cold, but in good condition. Other responding agencies included SAR teams from Sonoma, Humboldt, Napa, Contra Costa, Lake, CARDA and five California Department for Forestry hand crews.

San Rafael Search 4/13/2006

Fourteen members assisted San Rafael Police in the search for a missing despondent stroke victim at mid-night. Teams were deployed over a wide area of Central San Rafael. Three hours into the search, a San Rafael Police unit located the subject three miles from the PLS walking down a residential street. Three CARDA dog teams were also on scene.

Mill Valley Mud Slide 4/12/2006

Three SAR members who are also Marin County USAR team members responded to the Bolsa Avenue mud slide incident. This incident spanned three days and involved a very difficult search and recovery of a body. Numerous agencies responded with over 100 people on scene the first operational period.

Pt. Reyes National Seashore Search 4/1/2006

Two local males went “Adventure Hiking” from the Sky Trailhead off Limintour Road in the Pt. Reyes National Seashore on the prior afternoon. After hiking for a time, they traveled way off trail and then got lost. They said they moved all night and well into the next morning and made it back to the trail around 10:30AM, about when the search was initiated. After making the trail, they hiked out in heavy rain until a deputy located them along the road. They said it was very rough going in the drainage, with endless heavy brush, stinging nettles and Poison Oak, making them crawl most of the time. Fourteen members responding along with 8 CARDA K-9 teams and the Mounted Posse. NPS Rangers and Sheriff’s Deputies where also on scene.

Novato Missing Person Search 3/16/2006

The California Highway Patrol requested a SAR response for a missing truck driver from a major accident scene that included a HAZ MAT incident at 2:00 AM. Twelve Marin SAR members and a K-9 team joined Novato firefighters and CHP Helicopter H-30 in searching a large marsh adjacent to the HWY. 37 accident site. Darkness, rain and dense vegetation made searching a challenge. The search was suspended after three hours. The driver later contacted his wife and said he was OK, but would not disclose his location.

Bolinas Evidence Search 3/15/2006

The Sheriff’s Office requested an evidence search after a body was located in a remote area in West Marin. Investigators canceled the search request when they determined search area to be small and easily handled with deputies.

Mill Valley Missing Person Search 3/13/2006

Mill Valley Police requested a SAR response for a missing developmentally disabled woman who walked away. As SAR was responding, the woman was located by Mill Valley PD and the response was canceled.

China Camp State Park Rescue Response 2/15/2006

While training in the area, a Marin mounted Posse team came across a down mountain biker on the Back Ranch Meadow Fire Trail. Marin SAR responded six members on ATV’s and a rescue vehicle. The patient had sustained a broken collar bone and hand injuries. Patient was treated, packaged and brought down the ridge to a waiting ambulance and San Rafael Fire crew for transport to Marin General Hospital.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) Missing Person 1/14/2006

Marin SAR responded at 1:00 AM to assist National Park Rangers and Park Police in the search for Jim Pfeiffer, a 60 y.o. male with Parkinson’s disease who left for a hike with his dog and did not return. The search area included GGNRA lands from Muir Beach to the Golden Gate Bridge. The hasty search was completed by 0700 with resources from NPS, Marin SAR, USGC aviation, CARDA, Marin County and Muir Beach Fire Departments with no clues, leading to a mutual aid request for technical teams and ground searchers. Numerous teams searched a wide area and technical teams covered the cliff areas throughout the day. At 5:30 PM a ground team located Pfeiffer’s hiking pole and dog leash near the top of Hill 88, enabling the search effort to focus on a small valley. A CARDA Dog team located Pfeiffer’s dog at 6:30 PM in a marshy creek area with 5’ high grass. A 45 person grid search assignment was initiated at the base on the valley. Pfeifer’s body was located at 7:45 PM near the location of his dog, nearly totally submerged under two feet of water. His cause of death was drowning. Other responding resources included Contra Costa SAR, Alameda SAR, Napa SAR, San Mateo SAR, Bay Area Mountain Rescue and the Sonoma County Sheriff’s H-1.