Marin County Sheriff's Office
Search & Rescue

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Devil’s Gulch Hiker Assist 6/2/2024

National Park Service rangers requested Marin SAR to help with a hiker stranded off-trail in the Devil’s Gulch area near Samuel P. Taylor State Park. Rangers were on scene for roughly an hour and had been searching for the hiker through cell phone pings provided by the Sheriff’s Office before making the call to SAR. Voice contact was made with the subject not long after Marin SAR arrived on scene, and rangers were able to find a way to hike out with the subject.

Occidental Search 6/2/2024

Marin SAR responded to a CalOES request for mutual aid resources to provide searchers and overhead support in Sonoma County. Sonoma SAR had been working overnight searching for a 62-year-old hiker. Marin SAR, Bay Area Mountain Rescue Unit (BAMRU), and Sonoma County SAR developed a plan for the day and continued with investigations. After gathering more information, a direction of travel was determined, along with information about what the MP had brought with her and her presumed phone battery level. Three drainages were prioritized where the reporting party and a family member suspected they had heard voice calls. Type 1 teams were sent from Marin, BAMRU, and Contra Costa County SAR to search these high-priority areas. Communications in the area were spotty and challenging. A request was made to CalOES for the Falcon cell phone forensics team and Sonoma County for a repeater vehicle to improve communications. Helicopter H1 was available and assisted in searching from above. Around 11:30 am, a team reported that they had made contact with the missing hiker who, after a medical assessment, was deemed to be in good condition other than being tired. H1 was able to do a long-line pick-off and relocate the patient to the incident command post, where a medical evaluation was done and the patient was transported.

Corte Madera Missing Juvenile 5/23/2024

Marin SAR was requested by the Central Marin Police Department to look for a 12-year-old who ran away from their home in Corte Madera. Information gathered by Law Enforcement led to the belief that she had run away to a friend’s house in Tiburon, where she was later found. Marin SAR was canceled.

Westport/Mendocino Search 5/23/2024

The Mendocino Sheriff’s Office requested Marin SAR to assist in a search for a 71-year-old female who got lost while walking in a densely vegetated area northeast of Fort Bragg. BAMRU, Cal ESAR, Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma, San Mateo SAR teams, CARDA trailing, and area dogs all responded to the incident. As the search progressed, a team located an article of clothing confirmed to belong to the missing person. A trailing K9 and a UTV team were dispatched to the area to determine if a direction of travel could be determined. After about 30 minutes, the missing person was located by a search team along a trail nearby. The MP was evaluated by medical personnel and transported.

Palo Marin Search 5/21/2024

Marin SAR was requested to assist NPS Rangers in a search for a missing hiker in Point Reyes National Seashore. Marin began responding to Bolinas Fire with 60 members. As members were responding, the missing person showed up at the Palo Marin trailhead, and SAR members were released while en route.

Sunol Search 5/20/2024

Marin SAR received a mutual aid request to assist with a missing hiker in Alameda County who had been backpacking through the Ohlone wilderness. Early into the search, the Falcon cell phone forensics team identified two cell phone pings from the missing person’s phone in Indian Creek drainage. A team was dispatched to the area to investigate. After finding evidence of someone slipping on the side of the drainage and a water nozzle from a hydration pack, additional teams were brought in to search along the eight-mile drainage. A National Guard Blackhawk, CHP H-30, and the East Bay Regional Parks helicopter responded to aid in transportation and searching from the air. A San Francisco Department of Water patrol boat was utilized to search the San Antonio Reservoir, where the Indian Creek drainage empties. The boat team located the missing person and their dog, and they were handed off to the paramedics for further medical evaluation.

Trail Rescue Pt. Reyes National Seashore 5/11/2024

Marin County Fire Department requested Marin SAR for a trail rescue in a remote location in the southern part of the Point Reyes National Seashore off the Ridge trail. The patient was a 15-year-old female with difficulty breathing who was separated from her family. She utilized her phone’s Emergency SOS feature as there was no cell coverage. Bolinas Fire fire and NPS Rangers also responded. As the Marin team arrived on scene, Bolinas Firefighters on e-bikes located the patient, evaluated her and determined she could be hiked out. SAR units were released.

Butte County Mutual Aid 5/7/2024

Marin SAR was requested to respond for a missing three-year-old in the community of Banger in Butte County. As the team was mobilizing, the child was located safely under a tarp on a large property by Butte County deputies.

Missing surfer Drakes Bay 5/1/2024

Marin County Fire Department, US Coast Guard, and NPS Rangers responded for a water rescue of a surfer in Drake's Bay off of Drake's Beach. Marin SAR was requested as the incident transitioned to a likely recovery operation. At the request of NPS, we started to set up flor a wide area shoreline search and planning for a potential extended search. Shortly after we arrived on scene, A USCG helicopter located the remains about a mile offshore. A USCG Motor Lifeboat arrived shortly afterward and completed the recovery.

Nevada County Mutual Aid 4/20/2024

Twenty-three Marin SAR members responded to Nevada County to search for a missing elderly man who got separated from his family while hiking in the Spencerville Wildlife Refuge the day before. Other responding agencies included SAR teams from Yuba County, El Dorado, Placer County, Butte County, and CARDA. As teams were getting ready to deploy, a K-9 team driving out to their assignment located the man along the side of the road in good condition. He was transported back to the command post for a medical evaluation by CALFIRE units and released to his family.

San Rafael Evidence Search 4/17/2024

Twenty Marin SAR members responded at the request of the San Rafael Police Department for an evidence search in the Canal area of San Rafael. Searchers deployed on their hands and knees and also utilized metal detectors to ensure a thorough search of the area.

Missing elderly dementia in the town of Ross 4/13/2024

Marin SAR was requested by the Ross Police Department just after midnight for a missing elderly male with dementia who was last seen with his two dogs late afternoon the day before. Marin had 35 members and two K-9 teams deployed and searched through the night without locating any clues. As daylight broke, a request was made for additional searchers to respond to the incident. The search was scaled up with mutual aid from Contra Costa County SAR, CALSAR, and additional Marin SAR members. The Marin County water rescue team was requested to clear the creeks. The search scaled up to nearly 100 personnel, with rain falling and cold temperatures. In the early afternoon, a family member who just became aware of the search provided information about a potential property he might have gone to. A search team was immediately dispatched and, after a search of the large property, located him at the base of a tree, suffering from hypothermia and altered mental status. He was transported by fire department paramedics, and all personnel were released after an after-action review of the incident. A big thanks to assisting SAR teams and fire agencies who responded to support the search.

Missing dementia San Rafael 4/6/2024

Marin SAR was requested by the San Rafael Police Department for a missing woman with potential dementia in the Canal area of San Rafael. As units were mobilizing, San Rafael police reported they had located the missing woman at a neighbor's house and canceled the response.

rail Rescue High Marsh Trail 3/31/2024

Marin SAR responded with Marin County Fire Department and Water District rangers for a trail rescue for a male with cardiac problems on the High Marsh Trail in a remote location. CHP H30 also responded and was able to insert a fire department HRT member and hoist the patient. Marin SAR members continued to the scene and assisted transferring the patient to a medical helicopter for transport and were then released.

Chimney Rock Recovery 3/28/2024

During a routine boat patrol, NPS rangers located a fishing vessel on the rocks near Chimney Rock in The Point Reyes National Seashore. A USCG rescue swimmer deployed from a helicopter was able to get on the vessel and determine there were remains inside but could not take any further action. The boat was in a difficult area to access, in the surf zone at the base of 800-foot cliffs. Marin County Fire Department, Marin SAR, and Sonoma Sheriff’s Henry 1 deployed to support NPS and evaluate recovery options. As the Marin SAR crew was evaluating access in steep angle terrain for a potential rope access operation, two Marin County Fire Department HRT technicians deployed by Henry 1 on a long line were able to successfully recover the remains off the boat.

Tassajara Search - OP 4 3/22/2024

More than 40 searchers with canine teams from seven different agencies were briefed at 0800 and deployed into the field. Several of the teams deployed were technical rope teams to access technical terrain adjacent to trails surrounding the Tassajara Monastery area. Late in the morning, one of the technical teams located the missing subject deceased at the base of a waterfall. With the assistance of a Highway Patrol helicopter, the remains were recovered, and all teams were released from the incident.

Tassajara Search - OP 3 3/21/2024

Additional Marin SAR members arrived to join the search. A dozen teams were deployed over a large area, with a division assigned to search the Wind Caves area. A Civil Air Patrol plane acted as a radio relay for teams in the field. Search crews covered a wide area, and no additional clues were found. Planning was started for the next operational period.

Tassajara Search - OP 2 3/20/2024

Marin SAR was requested by the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office for a mutual aid mission regarding a 30-year-old woman who left for a hike and did not return two days earlier. The search was at the Tassajara Monastery in the Los Padre National Forest near the Ventana Wilderness. A remote planning team was set up to start search planning while three MSAR members went directly that night to aid in an overnight search of the area, arriving on scene at 11:00 PM. Monterey SO utilized a CALOES FIRIS aircraft to fly over the area and assist in looking for the missing woman. MSAR teamed up with members from San Mateo SAR and monks from the local zen center the missing woman belonged to. Together, they were dispatched to what was noted as a possible heat signature of a person by the FIRIS aircraft six miles into the backcountry. Ultimately, no find was made and the search expanded the next day. Twenty-one Marin SAR members arrived on-scene in the morning and joined teams from Monterey, San Mateo, BAMRU, Santa Clara, and CARDA to expand the search. Due to the difficulty and remoteness of the terrain, CHP H-70 had to insert many teams by hoist. One team reported a possibility of a voice contact via a female voice yelling in the area of the Wind Caves. This area of complex terrain would be the focus of the next operational period.

Mt. Tamalpais Search 3/17/2024

Marin SAR had nine members deployed doing preventative search and rescue (PSAR) activities in the Cataract Creek corridor due to high visitation after recent rains. As the team was packing up for the day, they received a report of a missing adult male, last seen by his family several hours earlier. After conducting a hasty search with no results, Water District rangers were notified to respond and a full team SAR callout was initiated. As additional search teams were deployed in the area, a passerby reported that they had located the subject on the road several miles away, and we had returned him to the trailhead. Rangers confirmed the find and released SAR Units.

Novato Horse Rescue 3/13/2024

Marin SAR’s Animal Technical Rescue (ATR) team was requested by Marin Humane to help extricate a 26-year-old horse that fell into a muddy ditch and was stuck in a compromising position. Marin SAR’s ATR team showed up on scene, joining Novato Fire District, the Sheriff’s Posse and Marin Humane. Crews applied different maneuvers such as a forward drag and the use of a forklift with fire hose straps to try to pull the horse out of the ditch. After about two hours of work, the horse was able to stand up with the help of the forklift and began to walk and trot around on its own. A veterinarian came out to evaluate the horses’ status, and was cleared with only a few scratches and a sore leg. Members were released from the scene.

Dipsea Trail Rescue 3/7/2024

Marin SAR was requested by Stinson Beach Fire for a trail rescue on Dipsea trail at an uncertain location. Stinson Fire located the patient and called off the need for SAR resources.

Larkspur Dementia Search and Rescue 2/24/2024

Marin SAR was called for a 78-year-old female who had dementia and walked away from her home. Marin had 58 members respond, with the first members arriving and deploying within the first 30 minutes of the callout. Marin SAR sent out resource requests for CHP H30, the MCSO’s UAS team, the Marin County US&R water rescue team and Central Marin CERT. Several hours into the search, a Marin SAR K9 team located the missing woman in an isolated area. She was in fair condition other than being cold, hungry, and disoriented after being missing for 30 hours. She was transported by Central Marin Fire to a local hospital.

Novato search 2/10/2024

Marin SAR was requested to search for a 28-year-old female who had left a Residential Treatment Facility in Novato, prompting welfare concerns due to her mental health issues. Despite being resource-impacted from a previous Mutual Aid response, MSAR assembled a team and deployed into the area where she was last seen. Mutual aid resources were also requested, including ground teams, equine and search dogs, and air resources. Subsequently, a citizen's call reporting someone stuck in a nearby marsh led to the rescue of the missing person by CHP helicopter, which then transferred care to Fire and paramedics who treated and transported the subject to a local hospital for treatment. Search teams were recalled, and all resources were released.

Lake County Mutual Aid 2/10/2024

44 Marin SAR members responded to Lake County in search of a missing person who left his home after getting into a physical altercation with a family member. 90 personnel from multiple agencies were joined by law enforcement, K-9 teams, helicopters, and UAVs. Clues, including two-bed sheets and bibles matching those potentially owned by the MP, were found about a mile from his residence in rugged, burned terrain. Extensive searches yielded no further clues, prompting a pause in search efforts, as further investigation was deemed necessary by Lake County resources.

Trail Rescue - Cataract 1/21/2024

Twelve Marin SAR members responded to a trail rescue request by Marin County Fire on the Cataract trail. Initially reported as an unconscious fall victim, the subject was found conscious but disoriented by bystanders who had pulled him from the creek, where he was found face down and unconscious. Paramedics arrived to find the patient improving but requiring a litter carryout. The patient was then transported to MGH. Several SAR members were deployed for PSAR duties in response to heightened trail activity.

Missing Kayaker Tomales Bay 1/14/2024

Marin County Fire received a report of a missing kayaker, prompting a multiple agency search effort. The incident was eventually handed over to the U.S. Coast Guard, who conducted extensive searches based on cell phone forensics indicating the kayaker’s last known location. The Subject was found safe, having experienced a misunderstanding regarding his return time.

Del Norte mushroom picker 1/8/2024

Marin SAR received a mutual aid request from Del Norte County to locate a 72-year-old female who disappeared on January 4th while mushroom picking in a remote area northeast of Crescent City. Previous search efforts revealed her rain gear, cell phone, and vehicle on a fire road, and her backpack was found near dense vegetation. 10 Marin SAR members responded. During search efforts, members encountered challenging conditions and terrain. The following day, OP5, Marin SAR deployed with rappel gear. Despite challenging conditions, Marin SAR teams completed assignments without finding any clues.