Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Helicopter Air 1 helped locate two fishermen reported as missing on June 2, 2016 at 11:50 p.m. They were reported by family as overdue by several hours and were unable to be contacted. Several lakes in southwest Spokane County, and northwest Whitman County were searched, with the missing persons’ truck and empty boat trailer found at the Rock Lake boat launch.
Sergeant Travis Hansen & Deputy Nathan Booth worked with Whitman County Sheriff’s Office personnel in searching the large Rock Lake area. Air 1, with Pilot Jason Snyder, Corporal Nate Bohanek, & Kootenai County Sheriff’s Deputy Travis Fanciullo aboard, launched from Felts Field to assist in the search of the lake’s extensive shoreline.
Several miles from the boat launch, deputies on scene observed a small light in the distance and Whitman County dispatched a SAR boat. AIR1 arrived on scene, located a campfire, boat, and two persons on the shoreline. They directed the Whitman County SAR boat to the location where the two stranded men, 55 & 67 & the other in his 80’s, were rescued.
They learned the men had run out of gas and their trolling motor battery died. There was no cell service at the lake to make a call for help. They tried walking their boat down the shoreline a few miles before becoming exhausted and building a campfire on the shore to stay warm and cook fish they caught until sunrise.
This video is made of clips from Air 1’s FLIR video of the search and rescue of the stranded boaters.