NEAR OPAL CREEK, Ore. - Rescue crews found three hikers who spent an unplanned and cold night outdoors in the Opal Creek area east of Salem after getting lost Sunday during a day hike.
Just after 8 a.m. Monday, Marion County Sheriff's Deputies said a crew in a helicopter spotted the trio but said an airlift was not possible at the time.
Ground teams planned to assist the hikers out of the woods but deputies said that plan also hit a snag and another helicopter was brought in and airlifted the hikers to safety.
They were airlifted by an Oregon Army National Guard's Charlie Co., 7-158 Aviation unit HH-60 helicopter from the 4,400 level of Henline Mountain at about 10:30 a.m., and flown to a landing spot on a golf course.
They were not hurt but deputies said they were hungry and cold after their ordeal. The overnight temperature in the area was 38 degrees, deputies said.
They were identified as Danielle Sanders, 22 of Salem, Jordan Schillings, 22 of Salem, and Kristopher Brown, 23 of Monmouth. Deputies said the hikers told them they thought they were hiking into Jaw Bone Flats but they got lost.
Deputies got a cell phone call from the hikers at about 7:45 p.m. Sunday saying they were lost. Opal Creek is located near Detroit Lake.
At around 10 p.m., deputies said the hikers called back to say they were going to huddle together for the night with the one sleeping bag they had with them. Deputies report they also had water and some food with them but were otherwise not prepared for a night outdoors in the woods.
Deputies said the hikers reported their cell phone battery was low but they were able to call again Monday morning to say they were safe but cold. A helicopter was launched to assist in the search.
Deputies said the hikers told them they were on a ridge near a rock face but deputies said they were not able to pinpoint their location using GPS data.
Another group of lost hikers, four men, were found safe late Sunday night after sending a text message to a friend who then alerted authorities. They were found safe at about 10 p.m. Sunday, deputies said.