The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Search groups locate 2 missing in woods.


September 27, 2018

Regional search and rescue units located two people who became lost in Wahkiakum area forests.

On Tuesday, responders located a Naselle man, Pete Rigert, age 52, who had become lost Monday while hiking in the woods above his house near the Pacific County line. According to the Wahkiakum County Sheriff's Office, he had last been seen about 12:30 p.m. He was reported missing at 5:30 p.m. Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers and sheriff's office personnel responded and searched through the night.

A US Coast Guard helicopter crew joined the search about 6:55 a.m. Tuesday. After 30 minutes of searching with the helicopter's Electro-Optical Sensor Sytem, the crew spotted Rigert standing on a logging road and waving a coat in the air. The crew lowered an aviation survival technician to the hiker to verify his identity and assess his condition.

SAR volunteers were then able to reach Rigert and return him to his home.

In another event on Wednesday of last week, a Longview woman, Delores Williams, was picking mushrooms with friends and became separated from them. Her friends searched for her for three hours and then notified the sheriff's office at 6:25 p.m. that she was missing.

Wahkiakum SAR, responded and searched through the night. A Coast Guard helicopter crew and volunteers from Cowlitz and Clatsop counties joined the search at 6 a.m. Thursday.

Later in the morning, an elk hunter encountered the woman and walked her out to the SAR team. She was reported to be cold and hungry but medically fine.

"We would like to thank our dedicated search and rescue volunteers," sheriff's office spokesperson Raedyn Grasseth said in a Tuesday press release.

"Without all the hours of training and preparation, these searches would not be possible.

"This is the second search this week involving lost hikers in Wahkiakum County. Remember to always tell someone where you are going and when you will return."


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