Coast Guard Rescues Man Stranded on Douglas County Hilltop

A 73-year-old man was stranded on a remote hill near the small town of Drain following a storm, but Coast Guard rescuers were able to get him to safety.

Posted: Feb. 27, 2019 6:03 PM
Updated: Feb. 27, 2019 6:15 PM

DRAIN, Ore. — A 73-year-old man stranded on a remote forested hill near the little Douglas County town of Drain is being treated after a Coast Guard crew flew in for the rescue.

Lloyd Cline had reportedly been staying at a logging site, working as a watchman tasked with "looking after equipment" when a major snowstorm swept in, standing him in the Elk Creek area off Upper Smith River Road.

After several days staying alive with whatever supplies he had on hand, the man ran out of propane to heat his trailer and started running low on food and water. He called 911 for assistance.

"With ground access blocked due to road conditions and another winter weather advisory in effect OEM organized rescue efforts," USCG said.

Over Monday and Tuesday, search and rescue teams attempted to reach him, but were slowed by downed trees and ongoing severe weather, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office (DCSO). Finally, Wednesday saw a break in the weather. That's when rescuers called in air support.

At 1:20 p.m. on Wednesday, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management contacted watchstanders at the Sector North Bend command center. In less than an hour, the Coast Guard had an aircrew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter at the scene.

The crew was able to hoist the stranded man to safety, then transported him to Sacred Heart Hospital in Eugene "where he received medical care related to the treatment of hypothermia," USCG said.

Cline was in the hospital by 3:05 p.m. the same day, according to USCG. His condition is unknown at this time.

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