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Family rescued off SW Ore. peak; dog hitches ride


When rescuers helped a family stranded and lost on Mount McLaughlin in southwest Oregon reach safety Saturday night, one of their two dogs, unable to walk out, hitched a ride on the back of one searcher, officials said.

Klamath County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue got word around 7:45 p.m. of the stranded family, from Creswell, who lost the trail, including three children ages 10, 12 and their two dogs, Sheriff Chris Kaber said.

As darkness approached, they called 911 and dispatchers tried to get them back toward the trail, Kaber said.

When they were unable to continue, stuck in a boulder field without flashlights, six Search and Rescue members responded, finding the family four miles from the trailhead. They helped them back to their vehicle, arriving around 5 a.m. Sunday.

One of the dogs, a 100-pound Labrador named Bailey, was unable to walk out and hitched a ride with SAR member Jason Pettigrew, the sheriff said.

Many people lose their way on Mount McLaughlin each year, leading to searches shared by Klamath and Jackson county SAR teams, who Kaber said alternate assignments, as the 9,495-foot peak straddles the county line.

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