Tuesday, 12 June 2007 04:24

Update: Missing Hiker Found After He Builds Fire To Signal Rescuers

slide4A multi jurisdictional effort, which included help from local residents and businesses, has paid off and yesterday afternoon as the lead agency, the Amador County Sheriff’s Department announced they had found the missing hiker for which a massive hunt had been taking place. On Monday June 11, 2007 at approximately 1450 hours, Magee was located approximately 1.5 miles east of the Amador County line in Alpine County, near Beebe Lake.  Magee was located by a California National Guard Helicopter search team after he placed pine needles on his camp fire to create a smoke plume. 

Magee was subsequently air lifted to the command post where he was checked by American Legion Ambulance personnel and reunited with friends and family. Magee said he simply got lost while traveling a trail he had not before utilized.  Magee said he never gave up as he knew searchers would be looking for him.  Magee said staying calm and having the proper equipment and sufficient supplies kept him from losing hope. Magee was reported missing on June 9, 2007 at approximately 3:36 pm when the Amador County Sheriff’s Office received a report that William Patrick Magee, 65, of San Francisco failed to return from a hiking trip in the Allen Camp area of Amador County. Magee and two companions started their hike to Bear Valley on June 7, 2007. 

slide9 The hiking party camped the first night near Horse Thief Spring and parted ways on the morning of June 8, 2007.  Magee planned to hike back to his vehicle at Allen Camp and then drive to Bear Valley to meet his partners.  The two hiking partners reached Bear Valley on June 9, 2007 and became concerned that Magee was not waiting for them.  After contacting friends, Magee’s vehicle was found still parked at the Allen Camp Trail Head. Amador County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team initiated a search for Magee.  A request for mutual aid was made through the State of California Office of Emergency Services.  Search and Rescue teams from El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office, Alpine County Sheriff’s Office, Nevada County Sheriff’s Office and Contra  Costa County Sheriff’s Office responded to assist. 

The command post was located at Plasse’s Resort at Silver Lake.  Helicopters from the California Highway Patrol and the California National Guard were utilized to conduct an aerial search.  CARDA and WOOF provided canine search teams.  American Legion Ambulance provided medical support and the Ione Fire Department Rehab Team provided sustenance services. Approximately forty searchers were in the field at any given time searching for Magee.  Search methods utilized included helicopters, all terrain vehicles, four wheel drive vehicles, mounted search teams, canine teams and ground teams.  The Amador County Sheriff’s Office wishes to thank and commend all of the search and rescue personnel and support services that assisted with this successful recovery operation.  The Amador County Sheriff’s Office also wishes to thank Ciro Toma and Plasse’s Resort for allowing use of the facility as a command post, and Volcano Telephone for providing communications support and services.