Missing Oregon Fisherman Rescued After 17 Days Alone In Wilderness

A man wearing a hat

On May 6th, 69 year old Harry Burleigh set out to do some fishing in Oregon’s Cascade mountain range. Then he disappeared.

He went missing deep in the heart of the million acre Umpqua National Forest.  His wife reported him missing to authorities the next day after he failed to come home that night and she failed to get in contact with him.

According to CNN, authorities were able to quickly locate his vehicle at a trail head near the forest’s Twin Lake area, but they were unable to track down Harry. Knowing that he was in the area, they began leaving messages and food along the trails in hopes that he would find them but the mystery of his whereabouts continued.

Nine days after he first went missing, rescuers found his tackle box and a makeshift shelter he crafted out tree branches, but still no sign of the man himself.

Searchers left him a lighter and a note that instructed him to make a fire and that they would return the following day to extract him from the wilderness. The fire was never started though…

A week later, another shelter was discovered alongside a creek and the rescue team began shouting his name.

This time they got a response. Burleigh was found wandering down a trail alongside the creek, and he complained about some minor aches and pains. He was promptly air lifted to the nearest hospital.

All things considered, the man was in good condition. He was released from the hospital and is back with his family.

“This was the outcome we all have been looking for in this case.

The Sheriff’s Office wants to thank everyone who was involved in this mission.”

As many as 40 different volunteers from 8 different counties participated in the search and rescue efforts.

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