A Springfield man became lost Saturday while looking for chanterelle mushrooms in the woods west of Alpine, prompting a six-hour search — until he was able to call for help on his cell phone.
A friend dropped Stephen Dinnell, 26, off at noon Saturday in the area west of Glenbrook. He became disoriented and lost but eventually found his way back to a point where his cell phone picked up a signal. At 6:30 p.m., he called 911, and searchers were was able to track Dinnell’s longitude and latitude from his cell phone signal. Search and rescue teams located Dinnell about midnight Saturday.
“He was dehydrated, cold and he had gotten wet because it was raining,” said Mary King, Benton County emergency services coordinator. A sheriff’s deputy gave Dinnell a ride home.
King said that Dinnell wasn’t far from a road, and if he’d brought a map, he could have helped himself.
The take-home message, she said, is to be prepared for the worst when embarking on outdoor excursions.
“If you’re going to go out, be prepared,” she said. “And a cell phone doesn’t really count. Part of the problem with locating (Dinnell) was that he was in and out of service. Cell service doesn’t permeate the entire county.”
Helping to find Dinnel were the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Monroe Rural Fire Department, Benton County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue teams, including the Corvallis Mountain Rescue Unit, Marys Peak Search and Rescue and the Sheriff’s Mounted Posse.