Marin County Sheriff's Office
Search & Rescue

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Placer County Mutual Aid 12/29/2010

Ten members responded on a Type 1 Alpine Team request to assist in the search for a missing 25 yo female snow boarder at Alpine Meadows Ski resort. Shawnte Willis was last seen skiing out of bounds at the top of the Summit Chair Tuesday afternoon just as a major storm hit the area. Local SAR personal reported severe conditions Tuesday night and Wednesday. Our team arrived early Thursday morning and got a short rest in before getting deployed shortly after first light. Weather conditions had improved greatly, though temperatures with in the teens and avalanche conditions were considerable. A Tahoe Nordic Team located the subject about an hour into the search on the backside of the resort in the Granite Chief Wilderness. She was separated from her snow board and appeared to have died of exposure. Our teams were only a short distance into assignments when she was located.

San Rafael Search 12/27/2010

SAR was requested by San Rafael PD to assist in the search for a 16 y.o. woman with a mental age of 3. While SAR was mobilizing the subject was located inside the Sears store in good condition.

Sonoma Mutual Aid 11/4/2010

Seventeen members were deployed at 9:00 PM to assist Sonoma SAR in the search for a missing Alzheimer’s patient who walked away from a care home. Members were deployed as a large area search team and covered three assignments, searching a large river drainage, vineyards, large fields and apartment complexes. No clues were located.

Sonoma Mutual Aid, Day 2 11/5/2010

Seven fresh members returned at daylight to continue the search. Marin supported one area search team and also supported overhead. Around noon, Sonoma SO received word from LAPD that the subject had been located in East Los Angeles. He apparently hitch hiked out of the search area. Other responding teams were Mendocino, Contra Costa, Napa, CAL-ESAR and CARDA.

LE Operations Support 11/4/2010

Nine members supported the deployment of “Team Mike” , a 66 Officer task force to support civil unrest in Oakland. Members assisted with sign-in and logistics from the SAR facility.

Butte County Mutual Aid, Day 2 10/31/2010

Return Butte County. Fourteen members returned to Butte County continue searching for 41year old Loren Harvey whose abandon truck was located in a remote area. Teams were assigned technical areas to search around a fire lookout and surrounding areas. No additional clues were located and the subject remains missing. Other teams assisting Butte included Placer and Contra Costa Type 1 teams.

Butte County Mutual Aid 10/28/2010

Nine Marin SAR members joined the search for a missing man in National Forest lands East of Paradise in Butte County. The man apparently went for a drive a week prior and did not return home. One week later, his truck was located disabled in a remote location of the forest by riders on four wheelers. We responded during day three of active searching. Teams were deployed on multiple assignments and reported dense vegetation making navigation challenging. No clues were located. Other teams assisting Butte included Contra Costa, Shasta, Yuba and CARDA K-9 teams. A large contingent of friends and family were also searching.

Novato Search 10/8/2010

Twenty-eight SAR members responded to assist Novato PD in the search for an 87 YOM overdue 7 hours from a berry picking hike from his home at Hamilton Field. The search area stretched from the bay shoreline along the old Hamilton field and large areas of marsh and farm lands to the North and South. Teams began searching at 8:30 PM from our SAR facility at Hamilton Field. About two hours into the operation a SAR team heard distant, intermittent voice calls from a very think area of vegetation behind the Bel Marin Keys Industrial Park. Numerous teams and several Novato Fire Engine Companies converged on the area and started an intensive search. It took nearly an hour to reach him. The missing subject was in good condition, but had crawled under heavy brush that included berry vines and poison oak. A ladder slide had to be constructed across a creek to extricate him. He was in good condition. He said he became lost in the brush by crawling on the ground hunting for mushrooms. The subject was a recent Russian immigrant and spoke no English. Other assisting agencies included CHP H-32, five CARDA K-9 Teams, Mt. Tamalpais Fire Crew, Openspace Rangers, Marin Sheriff’s Air Patrol, Mounted Posse and Sheriff’s SAR teams from Sonoma and Contra Costa Counties.

Mt. Tam Trail Rescue 9/16/2010

Marin SAR was started to assist County Fire for a trail rescue on the Boot Jack Trail. We were canceled en-route.

Yosemite Mutual Aid 9/10/2010

Six Marin SAR members responded for a request by Yosemite National Park for Type 1 Alpine searchers to assist in the search for a missing 60 y.o. male backpacker. He was several days overdue in the 10 Lakes Basin on the edge of the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne near 9,000 feet. Members were deployed to the search by helicopter and searched Friday into Saturday afternoon. The subject was located by an NPS helicopter in the Cathedral Drainage in good condition Saturday afternoon. The subject became disoriented Wednesday attempting Grand Peak and down climbed very technical terrain until he decided to stay put and wait for rescue on Thursday. Other responding teams included Mariposa SAR, CAL-ESAR and several Los Angeles Area Sheriff’s MRA Teams.

Mt. Tam Search 9/6/2010

Marin SAR was requested at 9:00 PM by State Park Rangers to assist in the search for a missing female hiker who became separated from her partner earlier in the afternoon on the Matt Davis Trail above Stinson Beach. During the search, a Stinson Beach Fire volunteer heard voice distant calls above Stinson Beach. Several teams were deployed and she was eventually located just after midnight by a Marin SAR team through voice calls and a search dog. She was several hundred yards off the trail, very lost but in good condition. She was able to slowly walk out assisted by SAR members. Other assisting agencies included NPS GGNRA, Deputies, County Fire, Stinson Fire and CHP H-32. Twenty members responded and were on scene for five hours each.

Mt. Tam Trail Rescue 9/6/2010

Marin SAR was requested by MMWD Rangers and County Fire early Monday afternoon to assist in the carryout of an injured hiker who took at 20 foot fall on the Cataract Trail above Alpine Dam. The injured subject sustained a cervical spine injury and had an altered mental status. Several members made it on scene and assisted with carrying the patient to a location where CHP H-32 could hoist the subject out to Alpine Dam. Other members assisted with securing the Alpine Dam LZ and traffic control. Ten members were on scene for 3 hours.

Marin Headlands Evidence Search 9/3/2010

NPS GGNRA requested Marin SAR to assist with a technical evidence search after rangers located a skull about 30 feet above the high tide line below Battery Spencer adjacent to the Golden Gate Bridge. Sixteen SAR members joined NPS Rangers and US Park Police in lowering searchers 650 feet down the near vertical slope below Battery Spencer to methodically search the slope to the water. Members engineered all the rigging and passed a number of knots because the length of rope required exceeded our longest ropes. Additional related clues were located during the search. The case is under investigation by NPS and US Park Police. Members were on scene for eleven hours.

Novato Search 8/28/2010

SAR was requested to respond by deputies to assist in the search for a missing 17 y.o. male with autism after he became separated from his father while hiking in the Loma Verde Openspace area on Big Rock Ridge. Twenty-five SAR members responded along with Novato PD units and Novato Fire units, CHP, Openspace Rangers and Sonoma Henry 1. As teams were deploying, dispatch received several calls that a subject matching the description was walking along the freeway in Novato. A short time later, the subject was contacted by Novato PD and was found to be a match. He was returned to his parents in good condition.

San Mateo Mutual Aid 8/27/2010

Marin SAR was requested to respond at first light for a missing Alzheimer’s patient in the city of Hillsborough. During the night search, a BAMRU team located the woman in a ravine in poor condition. She required a technical rescue and medical assistance. Marin was canceled prior to responding.

LE Operation Support 8/18/2010

Seventeen SAR members supported a large scale Law Enforcement operation targeting large marijuana grow sites on Mt. Tamalpais. Over 100 Law Enforcement Officers from numerous agencies were involved along with three helicopters and several watercraft. SAR members assisted with mapping, logistics, communications and management support. Members were on scene for 14 hours.

Marinwood Search 8/11/2010

Twenty-six SAR members responded for a missing 52 y.o. male at risk with a brain injury. Upon arrival Marinwood Fire had already deployed several teams of volunteer firefighters to assist in the search. SAR teams deployed over a wide area covering Openspace areas, streets and door to door assignments. TENS, our reverse 911 system was also activated. About two hours into the search the subject was located by Novato PD about 3 miles away in good condition.

Novato Evidence Search 8/11/2010

Eight SAR members assisted Novato Police in searching for evidence after a shooting. Members were on scene for 2.5 hours.

Mill Valley Search 8/9/2010

Mill Valley PD requested assistance in searching for a missing 14 y.o. male who had returned home after being institutionalized for two years. The subject had been missing for 8 hours and there was concern as he was not familiar with the area and he was know to like to hike in hill areas. Deputies, local Police Officers and Rangers joined Twenty-nine Marin SAR members in the search. About 2 hours into the search, a Marin search team located the subject near downtown Mill Valley in good condition. This search and the Mendocino search occurred simultaneously, testing our capability to staff and resource multiple incidents at the same time.

Mendocino Mutual Aid, Day 2 8/9/2010

Fresh SAR teams from CAL-ESAR, Lake, Contra Costa and San Mateo Counties joined teams already on scene MondayTeams covered a wide area around Albion with a focus on the extensive logging road and trail network. The dense Pigmy Forrest made searching a major challenge requiring some areas to be searched multiple times. Over 160 ground searchers were deployed. As the search was winding down Monday a resident who was very familiar with the missing subject and her walking routes returned home from a trip. She started to check several locations and found the missing woman down a remote ravine about a mile away from her home, alive, but inured and hypothermic. Fire and SAR teams went into rescue mode, building a low angle rescue system to bring Naomi Kerwin up 300 feet up to the road. She was transported to a hospital and was expected to recover. She had been missing for over 48 hours. Marin members took key roles in the patient care and rope extrication operations.

Mendocino Mutual Aid 8/8/2010

Fourteen Marin SAR members responded Sunday morning for to search for missing 76 year old Naomi Kerwin, in the remote coastal town of Albion. Mendocino SAR and Albion Fire had searched all Saturday night and were exhausted upon our arrival. Marin assumed a central role in the management of the search and also sent fresh ground teams into the field. Many members remained on scene overnight and planned the Monday Operational period. Sonoma, Napa SAR, CARDA and CAL-FIRE Fire crews also assisted in the Search Sunday. Numerous local citizen volunteers also assisted.

Yosemite National Park-Nevada Falls Search 7/24/2010

Thirty-five members assisted Yosemite NPS Rangers in a follow up search of a hillside above Nevada Falls for a missing despondent male from last year. The previous week some of his possessions were located by a hiker. This operation was a follow up search from the initial search conducted by YOSAR the previous week. Members conducted a grid search below the recovery site and four technical teams search steep granite slabs below the site. Numerous potential additional clues were located. Members were on scene for 8 hours. We were in Yosemite for our annual intensive SAR training week.

Law Enforcement Mobilization Assist 7/8/2010

Eight SAR members responded immediate need to assist in organizing the deployment of a Mutual Aid Law Enforcement Platoon responding from Marin to Assist Oakland PD during a civil disturbance. Members assisted for two hours each.

North Beach Search 7/7/2010

Twenty-eight SAR members assisted NPS Rangers in a search for a missing despondent male whose car was located at North Beach in the Pt. Reyes National Seashore. The search covered a wide area North and South of the parking lot that included extensive sand dunes and hilly terrain. No clues were located and the subject remains missing. Other assisting agencies included Sonoma Sheriff’s Henry 1, three K-9 search teams from CARDA, a Trailing K-9 team from Placerville PD and 6 members from Bay Area Mountain Rescue (BAMRU).

Marin County Fair, Days 1-5 7/1/2010

Search and Rescue members assisted Deputies with a number of missing children searches and several medical aids each day during the Marin County Fair.

Muir Beach Search 6/30/2010

SAR was requested by NPS to assist in the search for a missing male whose car was located at Muir Beach Overlook. The subject was known to have likely taken his own life. SAR deployed teams around the area of the Overlook, including several technical search teams. About two hours into the search, an NPS lifeguard located his remains. SAR remained on scene to assist with the recovery. Twenty-seven members participated in the operation.

Big Rock Ridge Search 6/29/2010

SAR was requested for a missing 82 y.o. male who became separated from his hiking partner on top of Big Rock Ridge above Marinwood. OSD Rangers, Skywalker Fire Brigade and Deputies initiated a hasty search with the assistance of a CHP helicopter. As SAR was responding, a Skywalker firefighter located the missing subject off trail in ravine. He was in good condition, but was disoriented and needed assistance out. SAR had 39 members responding when the subject was located.

Butte County Mutual Aid 6/21/2010

Seven members responded to Butte County to assist in the search for a missing 82 y.o. male who wandered from his house in remote Butte County, near Feather Falls. The team arrived on scene after mid-night and slept until first light. A short time into the third operational period, the entire Marin contingent was requested to assist with management of the search. Other teams assisting Butte that day were CARDA, CAL-ESAR and BAMRU. Teams covered a wide area around the PLS in hot conditions and heavily wooded terrain. The search was suspended that evening with Butte continuing the effort. One week later a Butte Sheriff’s Helicopter located the subject deceased in thick vegetation well above the house PLS. Marin members put in 18 hours each.

Tamarancho Rescues 6/6/2010

Marin SAR assisted with several medical aids and a rescue of a critical patient during a mountain bike race. Members assisted with patient treatment on several calls and where then sent on ATV’s to assist in the rescue of an unconscious mountain biker in a remote location of the race course. SAR members worked closely with Ross Valley and Marin County Fire units and paramedics to stabilize the patient and then transported the patient by ATV to a waiting CHP helicopter.

Mt. Tam Search 5/31/2010

At midnight SAR was called for the second night in a row for a possible missing male hiker out of San Francisco. MMWD Rangers found his car at the Bon Tempe Lake parking lot after hours and contacted a friend who said he was due home and had not made it yet. Eighteen SAR members with several deputies, a MMWD Ranger and a Marin County Fire engine company started a hasty search of Northern Mt. Tamalpais. Early into the search and subject was located at Alpine Dam in good condition by SAR teams. The subject became lost after it became dark and came out several miles from he intended to. He used the light on his video camera to find his way down the Cataract Trail.

Mt. Tam Search 5/30/2010

At 10:00 PM Marin SAR responded with deputies and MMWD Rangers for a missing hiker who contacted dispatch by cell phone stating he was lost near Alpine Lake on Mt. Tam. Deputies were able to make voice contact with the subject across Alpine Lake, but it was very distant. Six teams were deployed and the subject was located by SAR units about an hour into the search near the Helen Markt Trail above Alpine Lake. He was off trail, scratched up and cold, but in otherwise good condition and was able to walk out. Thirty-four SAR members responded.

Alameda County Mutual Aid 5/13/2010

Marin SAR responded a Wilderness K-9 Team for a missing hiker at Del Valle Reservoir had was last seen the previous evening. As our team arrived the subject was located by a search helicopter.

Mt. Tam Rescue 4/18/2010

SAR started six members for a carryout on the Boot Jack Trail above Muir Woods after a request from Marin County Fire. Team was canceled while en-route.

Novato Evidence Search 4/8/2010

Eleven members responded for a weapon search in the area around a remote campsite in the hills above Indian Valley College in Novato. Members were on scene for three hours.

Tennessee Valley Search, Day 2 3/21/2010

Twenty-nine SAR members returned Sunday with mutual aid team from Alameda SAR, CAL-ESAR and K-9 teams from CARDA, Sacramento, Solano and Contra Costa Counties to continue the search.. A water search group was established with Marin County US&R water rescue and NPS Life Guards. A total of 70 personnel were deployed. Teams were deployed on area search assignments and detailed searches of the coastline. About 1030 a NPS Life Guard located the body of Lee along the rugged shoreline just North of Muir Beach, about 1.5 miles North of the PLS. Her body was carried there by strong ocean currents. Sonoma Henry 1 utilized to recovery Lee’s body. Investigators determined no foul play was involved. Evidence showed she accidentally fell during the night. Several members of the SAR team were close friends with Alicia.

Tennessee Valley Search 3/20/2010

Forty-seven Marin SAR members responded to assist National Park Service Rangers in the search for 17 year old Alicia Lee, who went missing overnight near Tennessee Beach in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). The ICP was established at the riding club and teams fanned out over a wide area to hasty search the Headlands extensive trail network. Other teams conducted focused searches around the Point Last Seen (PLS) and assisted scene investigators. The PLS was about 20 feet from a 150 foot cliff that dropped into the ocean. Other assisting agencies included CARDA, US Park Police, Sonoma Henry 1 and the US Coast Guard Aviation Unit. No major clues were located and the search was suspended several hours after nightfall. A management team worked through the night to plan the next days search and mutual aid was requested.

Camp Tamarancho Search-Fairfax 3/16/2010

Thirty four Marin SAR members responded to search for John Kalayjian, who was last seen the evening before by friends working on a construction project at the camp. Tamarancho is a Boy Scout camp located in the hills above the town of Fairfax. Teams deployed over a wide area, hasty searching trails, drainages and fire roads for several hours. Several K-9 teams, a Sheriff’s mounted team and CHP H-30 also assisted in the search. At 1630 a friend of Kalayjian’s located his body in a brushy ravine near the road not far outside the main camp area. Over a dozen members remained on scene into the night to assist with the crime scene investigation and recovery. Other assisted agencies included Alameda, Solano and Contra Costa SAR Teams, CARDA, Marin Water District and Open Space Rangers and the Sheriff’s Air Patrol.

San Rafael Evidence Search 3/15/2010

Seventeen members responded to assist San Rafael Police for an evidence search after a homicide of an elderly woman on C Street in San Rafael. Members were on scene for three hours.

ELT Search on Mt. Tamalpais. 3/15/2010

Six members deployed at 0430 hrs. for a report from the US Coast Guard that an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) was activated on Mt. Tamalpais near Muir Woods. Teams searched the area with direction finding equipment with no results. Shortly after first light, CHP Air 37 arrived on scene and reported they heard it near the top of Mt. Tamalpais. They soon updated the location to Gnoss Field in Novato. Working with the airport manager, they located the ELT non-distress on a plane in Hanger and turned it off. Other assisting agencies were Stinson Fire, State Parks and Civic Air Patrol (CAP).

Mill Valley Evidence Search 3/4/2010

Twenty-four members responded to assist Sheriff’s detectives in a search for a weapon in unincorporated Mill Valley. Members were on scene for three hours each.

Missing elderly woman in Woodacre 3/4/2010

A dozen Marin SAR members started a search for a missing elderly woman in Woodacre. As teams were deploying new information developed she maybe in San Francisco. This was soon confirmed and teams were diverted to a new incident in Mill Valley. Numerous deputies and Marin County Fire Units also assisted in this incident.

Nevada County Mutual Aid 3/4/2010

Marin SAR responded a nine member Type 1 Winter Search Team for missing 28 Kevin Davis, who was two days overdue on the Sierra Crest seven miles North of Hwy 80. David was last seen leaving a backcountry hut in the wrong direction. A storm with heavy snow hit the search area shortly after he went missing, adding about 18 inches of new snow to an already deep snowpack. Marin was configured into two area search teams to cover areas about Peter Grubb hut and Castle Valley. One member worked as Plans Section Chief. Five hours into the search the subject was located alive by a helicopter. He was hypothermic and fatigued. He was about ½ mile from the hut and stayed in the area during the time he was lost. Nearby field teams administered first aid until he could be airlifted out by CHP. Davis made a snow cave each night. Based on GPS tracks, teams came close to him during the night but did not see him because he was concealed in his snow cave. Other participating teams assisting Nevada County included Tahoe Nordic, National Guard Aviation Group Stockton, CHP Aviation Unit Sacramento, Tahoe backcountry Ski Patrol, National Ski Patrol, Placer County MRT, El Dorado County SAR, Amador County SAR, Bay Area Mountain Rescue, Siskiyou County SAR, Washoe County SAR and Contra Costa County MRT.

Missing Person Novato 2/23/2010

SAR was requested at 9 PM for a missing 60 y.o. male just treated and released from Novato Community Hospital for a diabetic emergency. Subject did not make it home on his bicycle as was overdue for several hours in darkness and rain. Deputies located the subject while SAR was responding several blocks from his home.

Mt. Tam Rescue Response 2/14/2010

SAR was requested to assist with a potential carryout for a hiker with an ankle injury on the Cataract Trail. Sonoma Henry 1 arrived on scene and lifted the subject out with a long line. SAR was cancelled en-route.

Novato Evidence Search 2/3/2010

Twelve Marin SAR members along with three Air Patrol members assisted Sheriff’s deputies and Novato PD detectives in an evidence search. During the search key evidence was located with the assistance of SAR man trackers. Members were on scene for three hours.

Missing female dog walker at Pt. Reyes Beach, Day 2 1/25/2010

At first light the search continued with seven NPS Rangers, seventeen Marin SAR members and mutual aid SAR teams from CARDA, Sonoma, Napa, Contra Costa and San Mateo counties. Mounted horse teams and a USCG helicopter were also deployed. A total of sixty-five searchers completed thirty assignments during Monday’s search. The effort recovered Sunday nights work and also expanded both North and South. An investigation team also interviewed people in the area at the time of her disappearance. A cold rain fell of searchers through most of the day and 20 foot waves were observed along the beach, at times covering the beach up to the dunes. The American Red Cross provided logistics support for the incident. No further leads or clues were found in the disappearance of Silvia Lang.

Missing female dog walker at Pt. Reyes Beach 1/24/2010

Rangers requested SAR for a missing 77 y.o. woman whose dog was found wandering the parking lot of North Beach in the Pt. Reyes National Seashore while her owner, Silvia Lang, was missing. Twenty-six members with six CARDA K-9 teams responded in darkness and heavy rain to search the beaches and extensive sand dunes for clues to her disappearance. Teams searched past mid-night with no leads. The ICP was moved from the beach parking lot to the North District Ranger Office and a planning team worked through the night to prepare for operations next day. CAL-EMA was requested to dispatch mutual aid SAR teams for the next morning.

Missing Person Search Pt. Reyes National Seashore, Day 2 1/9/2010

Twenty SAR members from Marin and another 45 searchers responded mutual aid from Contra Costa, Sonoma, CAL-ESAR, Napa and Alameda County SAR teams with several CARDA K-9 teams. The search continued at first light with teams completing over 30 assignments, covering broad bluffs, cliffs and beaches. A USCG patrol boat and helicopter also assisted in the search Sunday. National Park Rangers supported with management of the search and coordinated the investigation. No clues were located during the extensive investigation and search and Truitt remains missing.

Missing Person Search Pt. Reyes National Seashore 1/8/2010

Forty-seven Marin SAR members participated over two days in the search for a missing 37 y.o. female whose car was located by NPS Rangers at the McClure’s Beach parking lot, unattended for over 24 hours. Her roommate confirmed she was overdue to NPS rangers Saturday afternoon. On Saturday night 34 ground searchers with four CARDA K-9 teams, ATV’s and a helicopter from CHP searched the rugged Pierce Point and McClure’s Beach area. The search continued into early Sunday morning. Mutual Aid was requested from CAL-EMA for the next day. The missing woman, Katherine Truitt, lived in Alameda and was familiar with the area and apparently was by herself.