On Feb. 6, 2023, at about 7:23 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to Clam Beach to conduct a search and rescue for a lost woman.
According to the reporting party, the 71-year-old missing woman was reportedly hiking on the beach with a small group of people when she decided to stay behind and rest while the group continued. The group reported the woman missing when she failed to return to the vehicle.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Special Services Division and officers with the Bureau of Land Management conducted a search of the area. Deputies located the woman unharmed in the dunes at approximately 8:38 p.m. The woman told deputies that she had gotten lost in the dunes while attempting to return to the vehicle. Due to nightfall, she decided to stay put and wait for help.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Coast Guard - Sector Humboldt Bay and the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team for their coordination and assistance with this response.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office urges the community to take extra precautions when hiking or recreating outdoors. Follow these tips to stay safe:
- Always hike with a group, or at least one other person, and stay together.
- Check the weather forecast before heading out to hike or camp and plan your trip accordingly.
- Know your skill level and physical capabilities- choose trails within your or your group's ability.
- If doing a day hike, know what time the sun begins to set. Research the trail ahead of time and anticipate how long it will take to hike. Begin hiking early so that you will have plenty of daylight to get back.
- Inform someone of your travel plans- let them know where you are going, your planned route, when you plan to return and emergency numbers to call if you do not return at the scheduled time.
- Bring a charged cell phone with you in case of emergencies, but do not rely on cell service in all areas. For remote hikes where cell service is not available, consider bringing a Personal Locator Beacon or GPS phone.
- Bring a flashlight, warm clothes, high energy snacks and water in case your hike goes longer than expected.
- If you get lost, stop where you are and assess the situation. Try to determine your location. If you are sure you can get yourself out using a map and compass, do so- otherwise stay put.
- If you or a member of your hiking/recreating party becomes lost, call law enforcement for help right away (as service allows). There is no required wait time to report a missing person.
If you are interested in assisting with future search and rescue operations, consider joining the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team. Learn more and apply at: humboldtsar.org
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