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In the News

Seattle hiker who disappeared from North Bend trail found alive.

NORTH BEND, Wash. - A Seattle woman who disappeared with her dog nearly four days ago from a popular trail on Mount Teneriffe is alive, according to King County Sheriff's Office.

Search and rescue teams found 40-year-old Kimberly Haines on Thursday afternoon with only minor injuries, and a chopper took her to an ambulance. 

by: KIRO 7 News Staff Updated: Aug 4, 2017 - 6:02 AM


Equine Trail Sports: July 26, 2014

Trail Challenge across 6 miles of trailSaturday, July 26, 2014 - Snohomish, WA


Northwest Horseback Search & Rescue (NWHSAR) hosted a Trail Challenge fund raiser.  The ride was at Lord Hill Park, one of Snohomish County's best kept equestrian secrets.  Lord Hill Park has varying terrain throughout the park which is why it has become a preferred training location for NWHSAR training.


SNOQUALMIE, Wash. A dog that fell over a cliff along the Pacific Crest Trail in Snoqualmie Thursdaywas rescued in an effort you normally think would be reserved for humans. But in fact, it's with humans in mind that the elaborate rescue took place.


According to the Washington State Animal Response Team (WASART), a couple was hiking along the trail Thursday night. Their German Pointer, named Dosewallips, ran across an ice field and slid about 100 yards over the embankment. The 50-pound dog landed on a ledge below the trail.


WASART members, along with members of King County Search and Rescue and the Northwest Horseback Search and Rescue, were called to the scene. One team managed to rappel down to a ledge on the same level, but they were still too far from the dog to retrieve him.


The crews camped on the trail overnight to wait for more light and a longer rope before they pulled Dosewallips out Friday morning.

We're very thankful to the volunteers who helped us out, said Dosewallips' owner Mike Garrity.


While it might seem like a lot to throw at an effort to rescue a dog, WASART says it keeps from making the situation worse because the owners might have gotten trapped if they had tried to rescue the dog on their own. Garrity said he did try to rescue Dosewallips, but thought better of it and called for help.


In February 2005, a woman died after she fell 400 feettrying to rescue adog in a similar situation near Mud Mountain Dam.

Seattle Mountain Rescue had the privilege to work with the Washington State Animal Response Team (WASART) and our local SAR partners, King County Explorer Search and RescueKing County 4x4 Search and Rescue, IST, and the Northwest Horse Search and Rescue Team to rescue a horse and rider who fell from the Pacific Crest Trail near Snoqualmie Pass. 


The turn out from all the groups was excellent with some members staying out overnight to help the rider and horse. Staring early yesterday morning as many as 65 volunteers worked to rescue the horse using rigging, trail building and equestrian skills to safely bring the horse and rider out 4.5 miles back down the trail. The horse had fallen nearly 100 feet down a 45 degree slope and amazingly neither the rider nor the horse suffered any serious injury. 


To read even more details check this link out: WASART READ MORE.


And thank you to the The Soup Ladies for providing a hot meal to the teams at the end of the day.


Missing berry picker found in good condition:


TROUT LAKE, Wash. (AP) - Search and rescue teams have found the 87-year-old Oregon woman who went missing Thursday while picking huckleberries near Trout Lake in southwest Washington.

The Skamania County sheriff's office says the woman was spotted Sunday morning by a search crew flying over the Sawtooth Berry Fields. She is being brought out on horseback and officials say she appears to be in good condition.

The sheriff's office says Wasco Fujiwara, of The Dalles, was picking huckleberries with her daughter Thursday when the two became separated.

Lisa Fujiwara last saw her mother around 1:30 p.m. near Forest Road 24. When she returned to the area, she could not find her mom. The elderly woman was found about 2 miles southeast of the place where her daughter last saw her. She was spotted sitting on a log and waving to the airplane.


Missing 10-year-old Redmond girl found 15 miles from home

By Gary Horcher, KIRO 7 Staff




REDMOND, Wash. — 

Police are trying to figure out why a 10-year-old disappeared in Redmond Monday night.

After an intense four-hour search by ground and air, the missing East Redmond girl, Abbey, was found in a downtown Seattle store about 15 miles from where she lives.    

A King County Sheriff deputy told KIRO-7 the girl was found safe after store employees recognized her from social media reports and called 911.

Investigators say they will interview the girl to find out how she made it to Seattle from her rural Redmond home, five hours after she was reported missing by her father.



According to investigators, the girl’s father left the girl home alone for 30 minutes to run an errand at about 4 p.m. When he returned, the girl was gone. Detectives asked the girl’s friends and neighbors if they had seen her.

Search and rescue volunteers streamed into the heavily wooded neighborhood at about 6 p.m. and scoured the area with dogs and using horses, ATVs, and a helicopter.

 “Fortunately she's safe,” said Stan Seo with the King County Sheriff’s office. “Our detectives are en route to Seattle to interview her and account for what exactly transpired. It's kind of a mystery to us, and we need to find out."

While questions are being answered, volunteers and police were relieved.

“It is a tremendous relief to know that she is safe,” said Seo. “I think her parents are going to be really excited to see her and hug her and hold her."  by Scott Preston


Over the past few months, King County Search and Rescue has opened up some of their units and shown us what is involved in back country rescue.


This month we’re looking at the Horseback Unit, also known as Northwest Horseback Search and Rescue  (NWHSAR).


NWHSAR is a unit of trained volunteers and their horses that serve the King County Sheriff’s Office in Search and Rescue. The team members are horse handlers first, and learn the required SAR training along with their horses. Their missions utilize all the benefits that horses provide in the field. Due to their size and strength, horses can often replace the work of about 20 team members on foot.


If a subject can be carried out on horseback  instead of by hand on a litter, they often are removed more quickly and with only 3 to 5 members of the horse team, instead of 20 to 30 required of a foot team.


NWHSAR teams are prepared to render assistance to the public or other emergency workers, as needed.

The group’s founders started the organization in 1996 by completing ESAR training, then organized specifically to utilize horses in rescue situations.  They restructured the ESAR training to suit horseback functions and access the assets of their horses. Members and their horses complete a complex 6-month training process to qualify as search and rescue (SAR) workers.


Horses are an invaluable asset on SAR missions, as they provide a higher vantage point for searching, move faster than rescuers on foot, and can carry more weight.  Additionally, the horses possess an instinctive, observant nature that makes them valuable and active participants in searches. Their senses are much like dogs, more sensitive to sounds and smells than ours, and are effective searchers naturally. Horses will often alert their riders to the presence of other people in the field.


When “paged-out” by the sheriff’s office, NWHSAR members may assist with:

  • Lost person searches (in both urban and backcountry settings)

  • Delivering needed medical/rescue supplies into the field

  • Carrying injured subjects

  • Radio relay assistance

  • Helping other rescue units

  • Evidence searches and other duties as needed.


As a 501-C3 organization, Northwest Horseback Search and Rescue is dependent upon donations to cover unit operating expenses.  If you would like to support this valuable organization and its dedicated members, please contact us at



If you aren’t familiar or comfortable with how to treat horses on the trail, here are some thing to remember:

  • Speak gently, softly, even if you are a fanatic horse lover. The high, squeaky, exuberant voices can startle and confuse horses. Do your best to let them know you are a calm human.

  • With a backpack on, your shape looks different than normal. Horses can easily confuse you for something other than a human.

  • Their sense of smell is keen, they’ll know you are there before they see you, and it’s best to let them see you in plain sight.

  • Give them a wide space to pass on the trail. Horses are 1200 pounds or more. Give them plenty of room to pass you, and do let them pass. They’re likely going faster than you are.

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