Sheriff's Office, search teams rescue Estacada hunter injured in fall

News Release from: Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office
Posted: April 27, 2012

Media and Interested Parties


Please reference Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Case #12-12572


At about 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 26, 2012, Robert Gracey, age 20, of Estacada, contacted 911 to report that his father, Jeff Gracey, age 48 of Estacada, had injured himself after falling while hunting and was in need of assistance. The father was reported to be in the area of Grouse Creek and Roaring River off Hwy 224.

At about 10:30 a.m., Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue (SAR) was activated and responded to the call. Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue, Portland Mountain Rescue, Mountain Wave Emergency Communications and AMR's Reach And Treat (RAT) Team also responded to assist in the search.

Sheriff's Office SAR arrived at 11 a.m. Search efforts were hampered when Robert Gracey left the area on foot, and searchers were not able to locate him until about 1 p.m.

Jeff Gracey was located by searchers from AMR RAT, PNW, and PMR at about 4:45 p.m. It was determined he would not be able to walk out on his own power. He also had camping equipment, a rifle and two dogs with him.

The area Jeff Gracey was located in included a fast-flowing river, a large talus field that needed to be negotiated, sheer drops of 40-50 feet along the river from large rock walls and an increase in elevation from 800 feet to 3,000 feet over a distance of about a mile.

The Sheriff's Office requested assistance from the Oregon Army National Guard, Charlie Co. 7-158 Aviation, based at Army Aviation Support Facility #1 in Salem, Oregon. At about 6 p.m., the Air National Guard was able to hoist Mr. Gracey into the helicopter and flew him to an ambulance in Estacada.

Search teams were able to safely remove the majority of Jeff Gracey's personal effects from the woods -- including his two dogs -- and walked them back out to safety.

During the debrief of the volunteer teams, the volunteers expressed gratitude for the Air National Guard being able to hoist Mr. Gracey out of the woods. They were concerned that had it would have been a multiple-day operation to get him out of the woods had he not been hoisted -- because of the rope systems needed to get him safely out of the area and then back to the Roaring River Campground.

Contact Info:
Adam Phillips, Sergeant
Office of Public Information
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office

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