Rescue crews find missing fisherman alive after 17 nights in Oregon wilderness

Harry Burleigh, 69, was found alive on Sunday 17 nights after he went missing while fishing in the Oregon wilderness. Photo courtesy Douglas County Sheriff's Office

May 25 (UPI) — An Oregon fisherman who had been missing for 17 nights was found alive, authorities announced.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office announced Sunday that Harry Burleigh, 69, was found during a search and rescue mission in the are of Calf Creek where Burleigh’s fishing gear had been found the weekend before.

“This was the outcome we all have been looking for in this case. It is because of our determined Search and Rescue Teams and the partnerships we have with other SAR teams from around the state, that Mr. Burleigh has been reunited with his family this evening,” Sgt. Brad O’Dell said.

Burleigh was initially reported missing on May 7, a day after he was set to return home from a camping trip in the Toketee area.

On May 8, Burleigh’s vehicle was found at a trailhead leading to Twin Lakes where authorities determined he may have tried to walk to go fishing before returning from his trip.

Searchers located a makeshift shelter and a tackle box belonging to Burleigh on May 16, but the fisherman was nowhere to be found.

On Sunday afternoon, searchers found another makeshift shelter located southwest of the first and called out for Burleigh who responded.

Burleigh was walking and complaining of minor pain but was in stable condition, the sheriff’s office said.

He was airlifted out of the area and later transported to a hospital for evaluation before being reunited with his family.


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