Marin County Sheriff's Office
Search & Rescue

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Missing Elderly Woman Mill Valley 12/30/2008

Marin SAR was requested to assist Mill Valley Police in the search for a missing 72 y.o. female for the Redwoods Retirement Home. Subject had been missing since the previous evening and was seen on a surveillance camera leaving the building in jogging clothes. Numerous teams were deployed when she was located by Sonoma Sheriff H-1 in the mud flats of Richardson Bay, about ½ mile from the PLS. Fire Department units reached her and determined she was deceased. Twelve SAR members remained on scene for several hours supporting the scene investigation by Sheriff Detectives and the Coroner. They then assisted with the carryout of the body. Other assisting agencies in the search included the Sheriff’s Air Patrol, Mill Valley Fire, Southern Marin Fire, Tiburon Police and Redwoods staff.

Missing Hiker Mt. Tamalpais. 12/29/2008

A female hiker called from her cell phone and stated she was lost on a trail in the area of Alpine Lake. Twenty three SAR members supported MMWD rangers in a search. Rangers were able to determine her approximate location and responded a boat while SAR teams moved towards her location by foot. The boat reached her first and was able to extract her. She was in good condition. Members were committed for three hours.

Missing Hiker Big Rock Ridge, Novato 12/28/2008

Twenty-five SAR members with Deputies and Openspace Rangers responded for a missing 60 y.o. visiting Chinese National who left for a hike early in the morning and was six hours overdue. He spoke no English and did not know the area according to his family. Several teams were deployed when he walked into the ICP. He stated he was lost for most of the day in the hills above Novato before finding his way back as the search was starting. He was in good condition.

Missing Hikers Mill Valley 12/13/2008

A father and his eight y.o. son called on a cell phone stating they were lost above Tam Valley. SAR members were re-directed from the Belvedere search to this new incident. Deputies also responded and were able to make voice contact with the missing hikers and soon located them off trail. They were led back to the trailhead and were in good condition.

Missing Alzheimer’s Belvedere 12/13/2008

Belvedere PD requested a SAR response for a missing elderly female Alzheimer’s patient that was last seen six hour earlier. As SAR members were setting up the command post, she was located through investigation at a shopping mall in Corte Madera in good condition.

Missing child Marin City 11/28/2008

The SAR team was paged out and started for Marin City were a half dozen deputies were searching for a missing 6 y.o. boy last seen four hours earlier at a local park. The child was located about 15 minutes after the team was activated by deputies in good condition.

Marin City Evidence Search 11/16/2008

Eight Marin SAR members responded to assist Sheriff Detectives in an evidence search after a homicide. Members were on scene for three hours.

Fresno Mutal Aid, Day 4 11/22/2008

Return to Fresno for Missing Hunter. With most of the snow melted and clear weather, seven Marin SAR members drove up the Dinkey Creek to assist Fresno Sheriff’s SAR Unit with one last push. Members climbed 1500 feet up a drainage and then area searched a wide area downhill lasting seven hours. No additional clues were located in the weekend effort that involved more than 60 people. Other resources20that weekend included BAMRU, CARDA, Madera, Kern and San Luis Obispo SAR teams.

Fresno Mutal Aid, Day 3 11/9/2008

With a new storm overnight and 8E2 of new snow, seven members split into two teams with three Ventura SAR members and A Fresno deputy and covered a large cross country segment near the subjects last known point. Terrain included heavy forest with many cliffs and rock formations that were iced over. With light snow falling, teams searched all day with no additional clues being located.

Fresno Mutal Aid, Day 2 11/8/2008

The same six members worked another all day-cross county assignment covering two major drainages. No clues were located. Marin switched crews at night with an additional six fresh members and a seventh staying on. Additional teams from Contra Costa, Ventura and Monterey SAR also arrived.

Fresno Mutual Aid 11/7/2008

Six Marin Type 1 SAR members responded to assist Fresno County SO SAR in the search for missing deer hunter Robert Willis who left his truck during a snow storm and vanished near Dinkey Creek in the Sierra National Forrest. The terrain was steep and heavily forested at elevations between 7000-9000 feet. Teams were deployed on a nine hour cross country assignment.

Sonoma County Mutual Aid 10/18/2008

Twelve Marin SAR members responded to assist Sonoma County Sheriff’s SAR Unit in a wide area evidence search for a weapon in the City of Santa Rosa. Contra Costa SAR also assisted with the search. Members were committed for seven hours each.

Mt. Tamalpais Search 10/10/2008

Twenty SAR members responded for a despondent 54 y.o. male whose car was located on Phoenix Road in the Kent Woodlands, adjacent to several trailheads. SAR members with Deputies, Rangers, seven CARDA K-9 teams, Sonoma Henry 1 and Mounted Posse teams searched through the day. In the late afternoon, a Marin SAR ground team located the subject deceased in a remote section of Bill William’s gulch, south on Phoenix Lake. With additional support from fifteen Contra Costa SAR team members, a group of 40 personnel worked several hours on a technical steep-low angle extrication of the body to bring it up 600 feet out of the Canyon.

Mt. Tamalpais Search 9/13/2008

Thirty-five SAR members responded to assist Ross Police in the search for a missing 54 y.o. woman whose car was located in a parking lot in Ross that accessed the Mt. Tamalpais watershed. The woman was reported to be recently despondent. Seventeen teams were deployed in the field when a body was found in Phoenix Lake early Saturday afternoon. Sonoma Henry 1 assisted with recovering the body along with SAR team members. Other resources assisting in the search included an Engine Company and Hot Shot Fire crew from Marin County Fire, six CARDA K-9 Teams, Six mounted horse teams, Sheriff’s Air Patrol and Water District Rangers and Deputies.

Mill Valley Evidence Search 9/10/2008

Eleven members responded for an evidence search. Members were committed for three hours.

Mt. Tamalpais Search 9/2/2008

Twenty-nine members responded to Sky Oaks Ranger station to assist MMWD Rangers for a missing mountain biker who became separated from her group around Lake Lagunitas several hours earlier. As teams were preparing to deploy in the field the woman self rescued, calling from a payphone for help on the other side of the mountain at Pantol Ranger Station . She was in good condition.

Mt. Tam trail rescue 8/9/2008

The SAR team was started with Marin County Fire Units and State Parks for a hiker down in full cardiac arrest of the Dipsea Trail near the Coastal Trail junction. As units were responding a medical helicopter in the area landed and made patient contact before any ground units were at scene. SAR was cancelled prior to arrival.

Muir Beach Recovery Mission 8/4/2008

On Monday night during our general meeting NPS Rangers requested SAR to assist with a carryout of a body that was ½ mile south of Muir Beach in extremely rocky terrain next to the surf. Twenty-one members responded and worked for two hours on a technical carryout to bring the body back to the Muir Beach Parking lot. Other agencies responding were Marin County Fire and Muir Beach Volunteer Fire Department.

Arthur Search, Day 2 8/1/2008

Five Marin members were again deployed on area search assignments while one work as Operations Section Chief for the search. Teams committed Saturday supporting Madera included Fresno, YOSAR, Army National Guard helicopter 229, NPS Helicopter 551, CARDA, Calaveras, Tulare, Kern, BAMRU, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Sierra Madre, Merced, CAL-ESAR and the State OES Satellite Communications Unit. Marin Teams departed for home after 48 hours on scene. The search continued until August 5th. No major clues were located and Arthur remains missing at this time. See link to article:

Madera County Mutual Aid 7/31/2008

Six members respond ed for a 67 y.o. man who went for a day hike at Iron Lakes in the Sierra National Forrest and never returned. After a day of searching, his car was located Tuesday at the Iron Lakes trailhead. He was last seen at 1:30PM Monday July 28th about ¼ from his car. Marin responded a five member team that started Friday morning searching several large area search segments above 8000 feet near the PLS through the day. One Marin member worked Overhead and mapping. No significant clues were located Friday.

Mt. Tamalpais Trail Rescue 7/30/2008

Six SAR members responded to assist Marin County Fire, State Park and NPS Rangers for a down hiker on the Ocean View Trail above Muir Woods. As SAR was responding, the patient was located and was determined not to need medical attention.

Yosemite Rescue 7/26/2008

Four members assisted NPS Rangers and YOSAR in a litter carryout of a severely dehydrated woman down the Mist Trail stairs. Members were committed for two hours.

Mill Valley Missing Dementia Search 7/25/2008

Marin SAR=2 0started to Mill Valley to assist local police units in search for a missing elderly woman with dementia. As units started to arrive, the woman was located in good condition.

Yosemite Mutual Aid 7/23/2008

While training in Yosemite, eighteen members were requested to assist NPS Rangers and YOSAR to looking for clues after a human toe was located in the Merced River by Sentinel Bridge. Members were committed for three hours searching several miles of Shoreline for clues.

Mt. Tamalpais Rescue Response 7/19/2008

Members were pulled from the evidence search in progress along with additional members for a trail rescue on the Cataract Trail near Alpine Lake. The SAR team was cancelled en-route and resumed the evidence search.

San Rafael Evidence Search 7/19/2008

Twelve members responded to assist Sheriff Detectives for an evidence search in the area of North San Pedro. Members were on scene for 2.5 hours each.

Mt. Tamalpais Rescue Response 7/16/2008

Fifteen SAR members responded with Marin County Fire and MMWD Rangers for a down female hiker with a spinal injury, who fell about 50 feet into a ravine, well off trail in the middle fork of the Swede George Creek drainage, above Kent Lake. Responding units took over an hour to reach the scene from the trailhead. Once on scene, it was determined that Sonoma Henry 1 hovering overhead would not be able to do a long line rescue operation. Ground teams set up a low angle rescue operation and hauled to patient out of the ravine. Then started a difficult cross country litter carry out down the Swede George drainage that took over three hours to get out too the Helen Markt trail. Patient and teams where then taken out by boat across Alpine Lake. The rescue operation took over eight hours to compete.

Corte Madera Ridge Search 7/14/2008

Twenty-six SAR members responded to assist in locating a person yelling for help in the Warner Canyon area above Mill Valley. The reporting party heard someone yelling for help while she was hiking on Corte Madera Ridge. Responding Corte Madera Fire Units and Twin Cities Police Offers also heard yells for help deep in the canyon, off trail. Members were deployed on eight assignments covering the canyon during the four hour search. Once SAR arrived on scene, no further pleas for assistance were heard. Other assisting agencies included Openspace Rangers, MMWD deputies and Mill Valley PD and Fire units.

Inyo County Mutual Aid, Day 2 7/10/2008

Teams worked through early afternoon and completed their assignments. Inyo County decided to suspend further searching after an exhaustive search effort in extreme terrain with elevations over 13,000 feet. No clues were located during the seven day search effort. Mountain Rescue Teams from Inyo, Mono, Kern, Tulare, Los Angeles, CARDA and San Ber nardino also assisted in the search. See link to article:

Inyo County Mutual Aid 7/10/2008

Seven SAR members responded to Inyo County to assist in a large scale Type 1 Alpine SAR mission for a missing climber near Mt. Goode, not far from Bishop Pass. The teams had a challenging hike into their search area too the Treasure Lakes Basin from the South Lakes trail head. The teams searched difficult terrain, including boulder and snow fields the area until nightfall and spent the night in the field. The search had been in progress for six days upon our arrival

Yolo County Mutual Aid 7/6/2008

Ten Marin SAR members were mobilizing to respond for a missing Asian Alzheimer’s patient from the Cache Creek Casino in rural Yolo County. The search had been in progress for three days and several clues had been located the day before, including her shoes, jacket full of money and other article. Hours before our team was scheduled to arrive and assist, she was located along the perimeter fence of the Casino, deceased.

Missing Alzheimer’s Inverness Park 7/2/2008

Twenty-five Marin SAR members responded to assist Deputies and Rangers in searching for a missing 72 y.o. female, missing Alzheimer’s patient in Inverness Park, adjacent to the Pt. Reyes National Seashore. While members were responding, the patient was located by National Park Rangers well off trail about a mile from her house in good condition.

Mt. Tamalpais Rescue Response 6/24/2008

Eight SAR members responded for a rescue of a hiker with a broken ankle on the Lost Trail, about 1 mile below Panoramic Hwy above Muir Woods. Members arrived on scene and assisted Marin County Fire and NPS Rangers with a 40 minute carryout back up the trail. Members were committed for two hours.

Novato ELT Search 6/24/2008

Two SAR members with Sheriff’s Air patrol responded to assist Civil Air Patrol (CAP) for a downed aircraft distress beacon th e Air Force Rescue Center (AFRCC) placed north of Novato. Once at Gnoss Airport, CAP located the beacon non-distress on a parked plane in a hanger.

Missing Developmentally Disabled Search, Mt. Tamalpais 6/22/2008

Twenty-six members of Marin SAR with Water District Rangers, Mounted Posse, Air Patrol, four CARDA K-9 teams and NPS responded to assist State Parks Rangers for a missing 49 y.o. developmentally disabled male hiker last seen leaving a tent at 5:30 AM to use the bathroom at Pantoll Campground. He was reported missing at 9:00 AM. Teams were deployed to hasty search trails on the South side of Mt. Tam. At 2:00PM, a ground team located the missing subject about ¼ mile from the PLS in a ravine, dehydrated and to fatigued to walk. A low angle rescue operation was required to haul the patient up about 400 ft and then a carryout to medics. Patient was released at scene. The subject apparently became disoriented and then started slipping into the ravine, unable to get out. The subject heard voice calls, but could not respond. See link to article:

Yosemite Mutal Aid, Day 2 6/11/2008

Marin SAR members were deployed again the next morning in the Illiluoette drainage for another area search assignment. Numerous teams throughout California were involved in the search effort assisting YOSAR. At about 3:00 PM, the Yosemite park helicopter located the subject in a steep drainage adjacent to Star King Mountain, about 3 miles from the point last seen. He was dehydrated and fatigued, but otherwise unhurt. He said he was on a Vision Quest and did not know people were looking for him. See link to article:

Yosemite Mutual Aid 6/10/2008

Six SAR members responded for a missing 22 y.o. Guatemalan male off Glacier Point Road near Washburn Point who left his group to read the bible and did not return. The Marin SAR team worked two large area search assignments near the PLS brushy and technical terrain at 6000 feet. No clues were located day 2 for the search.

Dipsea Race rescues 6/8/2008

Fourteen members turned out to assist Marin County and Stinson Beach Fire for the Dipsea foot race. During the race, a team of six SAR members responded for an unconscious down runner about ½ mile west of Cardiac Hill. Patient was treated by SAR members and AMR medics and then airlifted in critical condition to John Muir Medical Center with severe heat exhaustion. A second SAR team also treated another patent with a broken arm.

Mt. Tamalpais Rescue Response 6/7/2008

Nine members responded for a 60 y.o. male fall victim at Carson Falls near Kent Lake. Members arrived on scene and assisted Sonoma Henry 1, County Fire, Water District Rangers and Deputies in a long line operation to extricate the patient from the canyon. Patient sustained minor injuries

Second Corte Madera evidence search 6/7/2008

Eighteen members responded back out for a second evidence search along HWY 101 related to the homicide of the Hells Angel. Members committed for two hours.

Corte Madera Evidence Search 5/26/2008

Thirteen SAR members responded to assist Sheriff Detectives for an evidence search related to the homicide of a Hells Angle member adjacent to HWY 101. Members were committed for three hours.

China Camp Rescue 5/10/2008

San Rafael Fire started SAR for an 11 y.o. mountain biker who fell 50 feet down a steep slope off the Bay View trail in China Camp State Park. SAR Units arrived at scene and started for the incident. Sonoma Henry 1 arrived shortly afterward and located the subject and set up for a long line haul operation. Once it was clear Henry 1 would be able to complete the rescue, SAR was canceled. Thirteen members made it to the command post prior to cancellation. The subject was transported for leg injuries to Marin General Hospital.

San Rafael Evidence Search 4/29/2008

Twenty five Marin SAR members with three Marin K-9 cadaver teams assisted San Rafael Police Detectives for three hours clearing a large area a nd drainage where a human skull was located the day before on a hillside above the Bret Harte area. See IJ article:

San Rafael Search 4/12/2008

Fourteen SAR members responded for a missing high school age male mountain biker on San Pedro Ridge about 2300 hours. The missing subject left his house around 1700 and told his parents he would be on a one hour ride and back in time for dinner. As teams were deploying on the ridge, the subject was located limping home with head and leg injuries. The patient had an altered mental status and was transported to San Rafael Fire. Three teams were deployed to locate the accident site and the subjects bike. About 30 minutes into the search, the accident site with blood and bike parts was located at the end of a four foot high jump. Several members returned the next day and located the bike.

Mt. Tamalpais Rescue Response 4/12/2008

Three SAR members working first aid for a foot race were summoned to respond for a female hiker down with an ankle injury on the Alpine Trail near Pantoll Ranger Station. Marin County Fire and State Park rangers also responded. The woman’s leg was splinted and carried out about ¼ mile by a wheeled litter.

Mt. Tamalpais Rescue Response 3/22/2008

Nine Marin SAR members with Marin County and Southern Marin Fire units started for a chest pains incident on the Coastal Trail near Pirates Cove. Units were cancelled when the call location was updated to the GGNRA and transferred to Presidio Fire.

San Rafael Man Tracking Response 3/14/2008

Three Marin SAR man trackers responded to support an intense, multi-agency law enforcement search for a suspect in a car jacking. After setting up a perimeter, the search for the suspect had gone cold. Shortly after our arrival, the suspect appeared and was apprehended after a long foot pursuit. SAR members remain ed to conduct a short weapon search. Members were committed for two hours. See link to article:

Mt. Tamalpais Search 3/3/2008

Thirty-six Marin SAR members along with ten CARDA K-9 teams, MMWD Rangers and Deputies responded for a lost hiker off Bolinas Fairfax Road by Lilly Gulch just after nightfall. Dozens of teams deployed over a wide area around Carson Canyon, Old Vee Fire Road and trails off Bolinas-Fairfax Road. The missing subject had been hiking with her husband and became separated earlier Monday afternoon. Several hours into the search around midnight, a K-9 team heard voice calls coming from the missing party. Teams then had a challenging time locating her position in the very dense brush, taking another hour to reach her. When located, she was found in good condition and was able to walk out with the finding team. All members were committed for six hours. See link to article:

Mill Valley Human Remains Search 2/27/2008

Three Marin Cadaver K-9 teams and three Santa Clara CSST forensic Cadaver K-9 teams searched a field directly adjacent to Fernwood Cemetery in Tam Valley for after part of a body was discovered the week before. After several hours of work K-9 teams, nothing further was discovered. It was estimated by the coroner the body was placed there sometime between 1961 and 1990. The area was recently being developed and was heavily disturbed. See related article: See link to article:

Novato evidence search 2/20/2008

Ten members responded to support Novato PD for an evidence search in the Atherton area. Members were committed for three hours.

Novato Search, Day 2 2/8/2008

Ten Marin SAR members with several members from the Sheriff’s Posse and Air Patrol started searching again at 0630 hoursA reverse 911 system message was sent too the community around her home. There was also major media coverage of the search. At 0745, a tip was called in by a resident who said she saw the missing woman on a wooded hillside above her home 24 hours earlier. A team responded to meet the reporting party and search the area. Shortly into the search, a Marin ground team with a WOOF K-9 handler spotted the missing woman several hundred yards away, very disoriented and cold. She was transported by Novato Fire Department and found to be in good condition. She appeared to have spent both nights on the hill. She was about 1.5 miles from her home.

Novato Search 2/7/2008

Novato PD requested Marin SAR for a missing 28 y.o. female with a mental age of eight, 48 hours after she went missing. The family filed a late report after they unable to locate her themselves. Thirty-four Marin SAR members with three CARDA K-9 teams and a WOOF K-9 team searched until 0200, saturating the high probability areas around her home. Novato PD continued the search until the morning operational period started.

Winter Storm Activation 1/25/2008

Eight Marin SAR members were dispatched to the Marin County Emergency Operations Center to assist in a setting it up for an activation due to widespread flooding across Marin. The balance of the team was placed on standby for storm operations. Shortly after the E.O.C. activation, the storm subsided and SAR members were released.

Day 4 Ruiz Search 1/13/2008

Thirty Marin SAR members with three Marin K-9 cadaver teams and six CARDA K-9 teams conducted a mock search training in the Ruiz Search area on Blithedale Ridge and Blithedale CanyonDuring the training operation, a seven member Marin Area search team located Ruiz’s body about 30 yards off the Corte Madera trail in dense trees and tree litter. The resolved a six week search that included efforts from numerous agencies and extensive family search efforts. See related stories

San Rafael Evidence Search 1/12/2008

Ten members responded for an evidence search for San Rafael PD for a homicide. Members were committed for two hours.

San Bernardino Mutual Aid, Day 2 1/11/2008

Nine members were deployed again into two teams, this time one team by snow cat and the other flown inAssignments were areas previo usly covered once with the goal of increasing POD’s. Members were deployed for eight hours in challenging terrain. No additional clues were located and at this time the search was suspended after eight days. See related stories.

San Bernardino Mutual Aid 1/10/2008

Nine Marin SAR members left the day before for a 48 hour deployment on Type I mission request for a missing 62 y.o. hiker at 7000 feet near Running Springs in Green Lake Valley in the San Bernardino Mountains. Dean Christy went out the afternoon Friday January 4th and got lost in the largest snow storm to hit the San Bernardino Mountains in four year. He had cell contact with 911 operators for several hours before he said he was taking shelter. There was no contact after 0100 Saturday morning. A huge search effort was started involving dozens of Mountain Rescue Teams. On Thursday, day six of the search, members were configured into two teams and were flown out to assignments on day six of the operation. Snow was 4-6 feet with rugged terrain under clear skies. No clues were located.

Water Rescue Team Deployment 1/4/2008

Two Marin SAR members with the Marin USAR team were deployed with a water rescue team in West Marin during a strong storm that hit the area causing widespread damage and several rescues. Members were committed for fourteen hours.

Muir Woods Search 1/2/2008

Twenty SAR members responded for a missing female hiker with cell phone contact in Muir Woods National Monument just after nightfall. While SAR members were responding, a National Park Ranger who is also a Marin SAR member, located the missing subject well off trail in dense brush in Fern Creek Canyon. County Fire sent in a hasty team and SAR members continued in the event she needed a carryout. Members stood by for about 45 minutes until she was out safely. MMWD, State Parks and Sheriff Deputes also responded to the incident.