PLSAR Team Missions

Missions Completed: 90 Persons Assisted: 118 Bodies Recovered: 17

Since becoming operational in September of 2001, the team has been directly involved in assisting numerous lost and/or injured persons, and with the recovery of several deceased subjects. Most have been in Bonner County; however, the team also assists other SAR Districts at the request of BCSO. All operations and training are conducted under the authority and protection of the Bonner County Sheriff.

7 MAR 17  - Overhead and Snowmobile Units responded to attempt to locate a 70 year old snowmobile skier who was more than 12 hours overdue. 2-Bear Air was called to assist and located the subject. The subject was okay and opted to ski out by himself. [11 members volunteered 22.5 hours]

8 FEB 17  - PLSAR monitored a distress call on the Sundance Channel from the Priest Lake Groomer operator who had become stuck in deep snow, approximately 15 miles in on USFS Rd 1015. Overhead and Snowmobile Units responsed and transported the operator to Nordman. [4 members volunteered 19.5 hrs]

28/29 JAN 17  - Overhead Unit and Snowmobile Units called to find a missing 71-year-old snowmobile rider missing on Lookout Mt. Members searched by snowmobile, then followed a single track using snowshoes. 2-Bear Air was called to assist and located the subject. He was hoisted out and returned to the Prist Lake CP. [19 members volunteered 117 hours]

21 JAN 17  - Overhead Unit and our Snowmobile Units were called to locate and rescue 2 individuals that had become stuck in deep snow in a steep ravine above Fault Lake on the Hunt Peak Ridge. Both subjects were located and transported to safety. [15 members volunteered 15 hours]

31 DEC 16/1 JAN 17  - Shortly before midnight, members were called out to assist 6 individuals with two tracked UTVs stuck in deep snow in the Coeur d'Alene Mountains, East of Lake Pend Oreille. Snowmobiles and a tracked UTV searched for the subject, provided them with fuel and oil, then escorted them to safety. [7 members volunteered 82 hours]

10 DEC 16  - Members responded to Schweitzer Ski Resort to assist in locating a missing snowboarder during the night. Subject was tracked by members on skies and subsequently located by Schweitzer staff on a snowmobile.

29 NOV 16  - Ground search teams responded to Green Bay Road near Garfield Bay, Lake Pend Oreille to assist in locating an overdue hunter. He was located with the assistance of Two-Bear Air Helicopter Service, and reunited with his family members.

12 OCT 16  - Ground search teams was dispatched to assist Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department looking for a missing hunter near the south end of Lake Pend Oreille. Subject was found deceased; it appeared he had fallen off a high cliff.

10 OCT 16  - Boundary County Sheriff requested a ground search team to help locate overdue campers who had called for help; having been snowed in near Ball Lakes. The Back Country Rescue Unit and an overhead team were preparing to deploy when a deputy found the men asleep in their vehicle.

20 SEP 16  - A 20-member search team using chainsaws, rakes, and metal detectors, assisted BCSO Detectives in locating and recovering significant artifacts and personal items on Hoodoo Mt. related to a decades old death investigation.

18 SEP 16  - Search Teams were sent up to the Wigwams for two overdue campers that had spent the previous day and night at Kent Lake. Two-Bear Air Helicopter located and transported them to safety.

31 JUL 16  - Search Teams were deployed to Lucky Creek, Priest Lake to search for missing huckleberry picker. Her fellow pickers found her safe.

07 JUN 16  - Shortly after midnight, an overhead team responded to set upo the Sandpoint Command Post and requested 2-Bear Air Helicopter assistance with FLIR to search for two women, who were two days overdue on Scotchman Peak. They were located, hoisted aboard the helicopter, and transported to safety.

10 OCT 15  - While responding to the aircraft crash on same day and location, Members and K-9 units were resquested to find a missing hunter on Round Top Mountain.  The missing hunter (74 YOA) was located and returned to his wife along with his off road motorcycle.

10 OCT 15 – Members and K-9 units deploy to Round Top Mountain to assist BCSO with search and recovery of a missing third aircraft passenger.  Results of the search were turned over to BCSO who confirmed the third passenger was cremated during the intense fuel fire, following the airplane crash.

27 JULY 15 – Members responded to Lion Head to search for over due hiker.  Hiker was found walking out, one day late.

19 JULY 15 – Members and Cadaver K-9s searched for victim near Hope, ID.  Three dogs detected scent and GPS coordinates were provide to BCSO who were able to locate the body on 30 JULY.

19 JUNE 15 – Members assisted in locating and helping PLEMTs to recover a missing and injured parachutist near Soldier Creek.

29 APR 15 – Members using 4x4 trucks located and returned two overdue bear hunters from Camels Prairie.

25/26 APR 15 – Members on ATVs and UTVs located and aided two elderly motorists who were trying to hike out, after they had become stuck in the snow on IDL Rd #1 north of Priest Lake. 

19/20 SEPT 14 – Members on foot from the Sandpoint and Priest Lake Detachments conducted a four hour night-time trek into the Chimney Rock Basin; traversing the narrow ledge along the north and east face to rescue a mountaineer th

21/22 JUNE 14 – Members on foot, ATVs, and trucks, from both the Sandpoint and Priest Lake Detachments, search overnight to find and rescue a missing kayaker who had flipped at Binarch Creek Rapids on the Priest River.

29 MAY 14 – Priest Lake Detachment searched for an over due dirt bike motorcyclist.  Subject returned home during early morning hours, claiming to have been lost.

6 MAY 14 – Units from Sandpoint and Priest Lake Detachments assisted BCSO with locating and recovering the body of a missing subject near Rapid Lightening Road, north of Sandpoint.

2 FEB 14 – Snowmobile Unit rescued 7 overdue snowmobile riders in the Lost Peak to Soldier Bowl area.

9 JAN 14 – Rescued a lost snow biker near Mollies North of Priest Lake.

31 MAY 13 – HRD Dog helped Benewah County Sheriff’s office.

18 APR 13 – HRD Dog helped Kootenai County Sheriff’s office.

28 FEB 13 – Rescued a missing snowmobiler near Camels Prairie warming hut.  Subject was found and his sled was retrieved.

2 FEB 13 – Snowmobile Unit assisted BCEMS with locating and recovering a deceased snowmobiler.

7 JAN 13 - Snowmobile Unit rescued an overdue rider whose machine was broken down. The person was hypothermic.

25 JUL 12 - Rescued 2 adults and 4 children stranded on East side of river near 8 Mile rapids. 

4-6 JUL 12 – Missing person on Priest River below Binarch Creek Rapids. 

27 MAY 12 - Elderly couple’s car slid off 1013, hiking out via USFS Road 302 to HWY 57 for help. Search suspended.

27 DEC 11 - Missing grandmother and two grandchildren going to dinner at Sundance Mountain Lodge. Subjects were found with vehicle. Transported out by snowmobile. The subjects truck was stuck with a rear wheel over the bank, after trying to cross a water bar.

22 DEC 11 - Four missing Snowmobilers heading toward Sundance Mountain. Stuck in the snow and started walking out when they were found.

28 – AUG 11 - Continued ground search, assisted by K-9 Unit for the missing person in the vicinity of the Wigwams. Subject was not found.

2-3 AUG 11 – Two 14 year old minors reported missing near Upper Priest River. Both minors were found and in good health.

16-17 JUL 11 – Missing hiker had been climbing either Mt. Ruthann or Chimney Rock. Air search initiated and observations were coordinated with ground units. K-9 team found missing person.

26-27 JUN 11 - Ground Search Team on ATV and vehicles assisted by 36th RQF searched for missing hiker in the Chimney Rock area. Searched also by private plane on 27th found footprints. Subject was found and brought to CP.

29 OCT 10 - Ground Search Team on ATV and snowshoes, assisted by K-9 Unit searched the vicinity of the Wigwams for a missing man. The search was suspended due to the depth of snow (30") and will resume after break-up in 2011.

22 JUN 10 - A Ground Search Team assisted by 36th RQF located and recovered an elderly Alzheimer patient in a field off East River Road.
15 MAY 10 – A Ground Search Team located and recovered two young men that had fallen into Lion Head Creek and drowned.

13-14 MAR 10 – A Snowmobile Unit Member observed an avalanche occur near McCormick Lake and responded.  They located the victim using avalanche beacons, but he was deceased.  The Snowmobile Unit returned the following day and recovered the body with the aid of a civilian helicopter.

19 OCT 09 – A Quick Response Team located and assisted a diabetic hunter lost and disoriented near Mud Gulch.

19 JUL 09 – A Quick Response Team assisted Priest Lake EMTs and Bonner County EMS with the ground extraction of an injured hiker at Lion Head using a single wheel liter.

28 FEB 09 – The Snowmobile Unit recovered a deceased snowmobile rider and his snowmobile caught in an avalanche in the Trapper Creek Drainage.

17 AUG 08 - Assisted the Priest Lake Ambulance/EMTs with the recovery/transport of a female injured on Lakeview Mountain.

21 MAR 08 – The Snowmobile Unit responded to assisted five overdue snowmobile riders out of fuel near Lime Creek.

28 JAN 08 – The Snowmobile Unit assisted in locating and returning two lost snowboarders that had gone out of bounds on Sand Creek at Schweitzer Ski Resort.

20 JAN 08 – The Snowmobile Unit located and returned two riders that had been stuck in deep powder on Camel Prairie.

13 JAN 08 – The Snowmobile Unit located and returned two overdue riders that had mechanical breakdown on Beaver Creek.

7 JUL 07 – The Rope Rescue Unit assisted PLEMTs and BCEMS with the extraction rescue of a hypothermic patient that had fallen out of a canoe near Binarch Creek, and had to be hoisted up two steep slopes in a litter to the ambulance.

17 FEB 07 - The Snowmobile Unit located and assisted an injured snowmobile rider lost in fog above Echo Bowl.

6 FEB 07 – Snowmobile and Ground Units searched a wooded area near Coolin for a missing person.  (Subject later found deceased.)

3-4 FEB 07 – The Snowmobile Unit assisted an injured snowmobile rider (RON) at Kent Lake and completed his extraction by snowmobile the following day.

26 NOV 06 – Ground Search Unit located a missing hunter in Blanchard, Idaho and recovered the body.

20-21-22 OCT 06 – Ground Search Unit deployed to assist Pend Oreille Sheriff’s Office with a search for a missing hunter near Monumental Mountain, WA.  Subject was found dead.

30 JUN 06 – The Dive Unit responded to assist Pend Oreille Sheriff’s Office with a night time, river recovery operation.  Subject found deceased two weeks later.

11 FEB 06 – The Snowmobile Unit responded to Phoebe Tip to assist with a injured snowmobile rider.  Subject was evacuated by helicopter.

29 JAN 06 - The Snowmobile Unit recovered four crew members from a helicopter that had made a preventive landing (mechanical) in Jack Pine Flats during a training operation.

30 SEP 05 – The Tech-Rescue Unit was dispatched to Hope, Idaho, where they lowered an injured hunter by ropes, more than 1000’ down a steep slope, where a USAF Helicopter (36th Rescue) hovering overhead extracted him.

3/4 AUG 05 – The Ground Search and K-9 Unit conducted a search and rescue in conjunction with USFS and Boundary SAR below American Fall to locate a missing trail clearing worker.  She was located and returned to her group.

22/23 FEB 05 – The Ground Search Unit conducted an 11-hour nighttime search and rescue of two missing snowmobile riders in the Selkirk Mountains.

30 NOV 04 – The Dive Unit assisted BCSO in a search of Lake Pend Oreille for a missing subject.  Subject later found near Dover.

17 OCT 04 – The ATV Unit conducted night and day search and rescue of an overdue/missing hunter in the Pee Wee Trail System.  Hunter was found and transported to his vehicle.

31 JUL 04 – The Ground Search Unit searched Eight Mile Island for missing sail boater.  Boat found run aground with no one on board.  Flew surrounding area on 1 AUG 04, UTL subject.  Later used cadaver dogs to locate a body 321’ under water, but it was not the subject of this search.  OPEN

24 JUN 04 – Assisted Priest Lake Ambulance/EMTs by conducting a nighttime extrication of a seriously injured fall victim off the Granite Slide Cliffs above Lion Creek.

15 MAY 04 – Assisted Priest Lake Ambulance/EMTs with the search and rescue of four kayakers on Priest River below Outlet Dam.

7 MAR 04 – The Snowmobile Unit conducted a nighttime search and rescue of a lost snowboarder from Schweitzer Mountain.

14 FEB 04 – The Snowmobile Unit assisted Priest Lake Ambulance with the nighttime recovery and transport of two injured snowmobile riders in the Two Mouth drainage.

28 DEC 2003 – The Snowmobile Unit assisted in the nighttime search and rescue of two missing snowboarders from Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort.

28 NOV 2003 – The Snowmobile Unit conducted a nighttime search and transport of nine overdue/stranded hunters via snowmobile from the Trapper Creek area.

20 NOV 2003 – The Ground Search Unit conducted a nighttime recovery of the deceased pilot from a logging helicopter crash on a mountain near Bear Creek.

8 OCT 2003 – Dispatched to assist a man stuck on the cliffs at Lion Head after dark.  Subject walked out as team arrived.

26 JULY – 4 AUG 2003 – Provided more than 2,500 hours of security for the Hunt Creek Fire at three roadblocks, ICP, Base Camp, and Heli-base.  The Team demonstrated its ability to operate 24 hours a day for extended (10 days) periods.

03 JUNE 2003 – The Ground Search Unit conducted a search and recovery of a tractor driver who drowned while attempting to cross Granite Creek.

30 MAY 2003 – The Ground Search Unit conducted a search and rescue of a 2-year-old girl who had wandered off from her home near Pinto Point.  She was found approximately ½ mile from her home, climbing a hill.

2 MAR 2003 – The Snowmobile Unit conducted a nighttime Search and Rescue of a stranded motorist on USFS Road 1019 near the Washington border.

22 FEB 2003 – The Snowmobile Unit assisted with rescue of three and recovery of one deceased snowmobile riders caught in an avalanche near Echo Bowl.  Also, assisted with a separate snowmobile back injury accident at nearly the same time.

14 FEB 2003 – The Snowmobile Unit conducted nighttime search and rescue of two subjects who were stranded in a pickup on a snowmobile trail near mile 29.5 Route 1, north of Upper Priest Lake.

17 JULY 2002 – The Ground Search Unit conducted search and rescue of three bicyclists who became lost, overheated and out of water near Gleason Meadow (West of Hwy 57).

7 APR 2002 – The Snowmobile Unit conducted nighttime search and rescue of two snowmobile riders near Indian Creek.

7 FEB 2002 – The Snowmobile Unit assisted Priest Lake Ambulance with recovery of injured snowmobile rider near Echo Bowl.

1 JAN 2002 – The Snowmobile Unit conducted nighttime search and rescue of three missing snowmobile riders near Lost Peak.

6-7 NOV 2001 – The Ground Search Unit assisted Bonner County Sheriff with nighttime search and recovery of deceased subject south of Priest River near Vay.

27 OCT 2001 - Assisted the Priest Lake Ambulance with nighttime search and rescue of a severely injured hiker at Lion Head.

23 OCT 2001 – Dispatched to Clark Fork to assist Bonner County Sheriff with search for two missing hunters.  Hunters walked out on their own prior to being located by SAR.

15 SEP 2001 – Assisted Priest Lake Ambulance with the rescue of two injured hikers on Binarch Creek.