OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — A Port Angeles-area woman and her dog who had been stranded in Olympic National Park for six days were both found alive Sunday afternoon.
A helicopter crew from Northwest Helicopters found Sajean E. Geer, 71, and her terrier-Chihuahua dog Yoda, and within minutes a ground crew made its way to them with food and water, said Penny Wagner, park spokesperson. A team made contact with her at about 4:20 p.m.
“They are working right now on getting her back out,” Wagner said at about 5 p.m. Sunday. “It’s such good news for the family and for her. It’s really a good ending.”
Geer told the search and rescue team that she had been in Olympic National Park since the afternoon of July 17 and that she had survived by drinking water she found nearby.
She was reportedly coherent, thirsty and hungry. Crews were working to airlift Geer out of the park as of press time Sunday.
“The current plain is a hoist operation but that can always change,” Wagner said.
Wagner said that except for minor scratches Geer was uninjured.
Geer was found in the Lillian River drainage off Obstruction Point Road, but it wasn’t clear how she got there or how far from the trailhead she was.
Wagner said the park would be working to contact Geer’s family and anticipated Geer would need medical treatment.
The search began Saturday after a ranger who was patrolling found Geer’s vehicle at the Obstruction Point trailhead, Wagner said.
Geer was first reported missing to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday but hadn’t been seen since July 17.
The Sheriff’s Office reported that at about 10 p.m. Tuesday deputies attempted a welfare check of Geer, but were unable to find her or her vehicle.
The last time Geer was seen was at about noon July 17, her friends and family told the Sheriff’s Office.
Her brother, Jack Eng of Seattle, reported Geer missing at 7 a.m. Wednesday. Geer’s family told deputies this was extremely unlike her.
There were 19 people searching for her Sunday afternoon near the Obstruction Point trailhead, an area about 8 miles southeast of the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center accessible via a rugged dirt road.
National Park Service employees, Clallam County Search and Rescue, and Kitsap County Search and Rescue helped with the search. Wagner said a search dog was also on scene Sunday.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].