Search crews rescue hikers lost overnight in Columbia River Gorg - KPTV - FOX 12

Search crews rescue hikers lost overnight in Columbia River Gorge

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Search crews located three hikers who were lost overnight in the Columbia River Gorge 

Police were dispatched to Oneonta Falls at 6 a.m. Sunday on reports of three lost hikers somewhere above the falls. The mother of one of the hikers called 911 after her daughter called and told her they were lost and had spent the night out in the woods. 

The hikers have been identified as Leah Freeman, Andrew Scott and Kyra Jorgensen, all 19 years old. Scott and Jorgensen are from Hillsboro, while Freeman is from Tennessee. 

The hikers started their hike on Saturday and ascended a trail known as "Elevator Shaft," which is an overgrown trail that is not maintained. The hikers stopped after it got dark and Jorgensen suffered an ankle injury.  

Deputies said they had emergency supplies and extra clothing, so they were able to camp out for the night. However, in the morning Jorgensen's ankle injury had gotten worse and the trio didn't know where they were. 

That's when they called home for help. 

Deputies were able to locate the hikers' vehicle near Oneonta Falls. They said that after they pinged the cell phone they were able to determine the location of the hikers. 

A Hood River County Search and Rescue plane flew over the area and spotted the lost hikers in a very steep draw down from Cougar Rock. The pilot, retired Hood River County Sheriff Joe Wampler, informed search and rescue crews of the hikers' location and advised that the terrain was extremely steep and rough in the area they were located. 

At 10:45 a.m. Portland Mountain Rescue made contact with the lost hikers. 

A rope rescue operation was then launched to bring the hikers out to safety. The process took more than three hours to bring them back to the trail. 

"Afterwards, all of the hikers agreed they should have started earlier in the day and a trail map would have helped them identify the correct trails to follow," according to the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office. "They also were grateful to the Portland Mountain Rescue and MCSO Search and Rescue Teams who located them and helped bring them safely back down."  

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