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Teenager and family dog rescued from cliff by Klamath County Sheriff’s SAR team

Klamath Falls, Oregon – A 17-year-old and his family dog, Wiggy, were rescued from a dangerous situation on Hagelstein Ridge, thanks to the quick response and expertise of the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (SAR) team. The incident unfolded on the afternoon of March 26, 2024.

The ordeal began when Wiggy, a 3-year-old Boxer, separated from the family during an outing, leading to a three-day search that nearly ended in despair. However, the family persisted in their search efforts on Tuesday, heard Wiggy’s whines coming from a steep, rocky drop-off on Hagelstein Ridge, located above Highway 97. In an attempt to reach his pet, the teenager descended more than 200 feet down the cliff, only to find himself stuck alongside Wiggy.

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Responding to the emergency, the SAR team, composed of community volunteers trained in various rescue disciplines, executed a technical rope rescue operation. One team member, adept in technical rope rescue, was lowered over 40 feet from the cliff’s edge, dangling above an additional 80-foot drop-off, to reach the stranded duo. Their efforts resulted in the safe retrieval of both the young man and Wiggy.

The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office took the opportunity to express its gratitude towards the SAR team, highlighting the volunteers’ willingness to risk their lives for others. The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue capabilities include different specialty disciplines; this includes SAR (ground and mounted), Dive Rescue, Small Boat Rescue, and K9 search resources.

Booker Whitfield


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