Oregon Army National Guard Searches for Teen Hikers
(MOLALLA, Ore.) -- The Oregon Army National Guard is helping Clackamas County rescuers in their search to find two West Linn teenagers who went missing on Saturday while on a hike in southeast Molalla, Ore.
Jackson Chandler, 17, and 16-year-old Bradley Nelson, went on a day hike in the Table Rock Wilderness area Saturday, but when they did not return, their parents called Clackamas County Search and Rescue which set out to find them.
“We have a break in the rain now and the Oregon Army National Guard are flying out a helicopter hoping to locate them from the air,” said spokesman Deputy Nate Thompson. “We already deployed 50 searchers in the area, trying to locate them.”
Chandler and Nelson both go to West Linn High School. They are active Eagle Scouts and are experienced and trained hikers. But constant rain, rough terrain and the possibility that they’re stranded in the middle of the wilderness have been causes for worry.
"If they have the right amount of equipment and training, it should keep them safe for a period of time. But we don’t know where they are now. … They are very deep in the wilderness and coming in contact with someone else directly is difficult,” said Thompson. “They are experienced hikers, and it was very unlike them not to return from their hikes. This is why their families reported them missing,” he said.
Chandler and Nelson did not contact anyone for help once they set out on the hike. “The last time anyone heard from them are their parents before they took off for their hike. They didn’t text or call,” said Thompson.
West Linn High School, where Chandler is a senior and Nelson a junior, is preparing an administrative meeting to update school staff and students on the status of the rescue efforts.
“We have news that many of Jackson and Bradley’s friends are gathering out there at the rescue scene with their families to show support,” Lou Bailey, principal of West Linn High, told ABC News.
“Like everyone else involved in the search, we are in limbo waiting to hear any updates from the crews out there,” said Bailey. “The school cannot help out in the rescue because the normal public is not allowed out there. The area that Jackson and Bradley are at is very treacherous,” he said.
Search crews made some progress in their pursuit after they found the hikers’ truck on Sunday afternoon. “It was locked and the boys were not inside,” Thompson said.
The parents of Chandler and Nelson were not available for comment when contacted by ABC News.
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