Post-Kim task force helps in finding man
February 21, 2007
BROOKINGS (AP) – Searchers say collaboration was the key to finding a missing man in a rugged area near here. Pilot Randy Jones spotted Christian Mankey, 47, of Brookings on Sunday in the Emily Creek drainage of the Chetco River. Jones was flying as part of the California/Oregon Regional Search and Rescue task force, formed earlier this month in response to December’s highly scrutinized search for a San Francisco family.
“It’s about the region pooling their resources and working together,” said Sheriff Mike Winters of Jackson County. “… the jurisdictional boundaries are gone.”
Jones and other members of Jackson County’s search and rescue division were called in to assist Curry County officials two days after Mankey went missing.
Arriving within two hours, Jones and his co-pilot, Randy Pace, spotted Mankey with a heat-sensing device purchased after the search for the Kim family. Exhausted and suffering from hypothermia, Mankey couldn’t stand. But he moved a machete he was carrying, creating a flash the pilots could see.
Mankey went for a day hike Friday, but underestimated the difficulty of the terrain, Jones said. He eventually collapsed on a bank near some trees and boulders.
With its tall trees and steep grade, Winters said, the rescue scene was similar to the Big Windy Creek drainage, where searchers on Dec. 6 located the body of James Kim, who succumbed to hypothermia in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest while seeking help for his snowbound family.
Winters said the new task force should improve communication and make searches more efficient. The task force comprises sheriff’s departments from Coos, Curry, Jackson, Josephine, Douglas and Klamath counties in Oregon, and Del Norte and Siskiyou counties in California.
Others involved in the task force include: Oregon State Police, the Civil Air Patrol, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, Carson Helicopters, Brim Aviation, the Crater Lake National Park Service and the American Red Cross.