News | Feb. 2, 2016

DLA equipment helps rescue hikers

By Jeff Landenberger DLA Disposition Services

The weather was real. The hikers were really lost.  While it wasn’t a reality show there is a star in this story, a cat from DLA.

The cat had tracks.

When those lost hikers called 911 their call went to the King County Sheriff’s Office in Washington State   DLA Disposition Services had recentlyprovided a Snowcat, a light tracked vehicle designed for use in snow.  

It had just been put into service after being turned in by a Navy facility.

“We have lots of outdoor wilderness recreation areas and perform up to 200 search and rescue missions each year,” said Sgt. Cindi West of the King County Sheriff's Office.

Deputy Ed Christian, the lead Search and Rescue Deputy with the sheriff’s office, called their Snowcat “an invaluable tool for our search and rescue members and the public we serve.”

He said the two lost hikers had made it five to six miles up a trail before they became lost and called for help. The snow was four feet deep in some places.

West said that without the Snowcat the rescue team would have had to use snow shoes to hike in to search for the hikers,

“Using the Cat we were able to get to the lost men quickly.  It would have taken hours more to hike through the deep snow to find them and bring them to safety,” Christian said.

West said that the hikers had been ill-equipped for the snowy conditions of the trail and were cold and wet, but otherwise okay.  

Without out the ‘cat, the story might have had a different ending.