Linn County Sheriff Bruce Riley is pleased to report the lost mushroom picker, Oliver Mercer, has been found alive and uninjured. After talking with Mercer, searchers learned he got turned around after picking mushrooms all day on October 31. He said he traveled over two miles south down to the Green Peter Reservoir, from there, traveled over five miles along the waters edge in hopes of getting back to Rocky Top Bridge.
Mercer said that although he was unable to start any fires; the evening temperatures never got too cold and he was able to make a bed out of fir boughs. At approximately 10:00 a.m. today he flagged a fishing boat down who, in turn gave Mercer a ride to the boat dock where he was reunited with his friends.
Linn County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue was assisted by Lane County Sheriff’s Office, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon Army National Guard, REACH, US Forest Service, Oregon Department of Forestry, Polk County Sheriff’s Office ATV Team and the Civil Air Patrol. Over the three days of searching, over 90 members consisting mostly of volunteers contributed over 750 man hours.
Sheriff Riley wanted to thank all the search and rescue personnel and agencies involved in this search. “Successful searches such as this could not be made possible without the collaborative and professional relationship shared by all the agencies involved.”
This is also a good time to remind citizens who recreate in the forest to always be prepared to spend the night. This includes having the listed items: map of the area, compass or GPS, extra dry clothes (no cotton), flashlight, first-aid kit, fire starter or matches, knife, extra food and water. Also a Spot Locator or similar device is ideal and can help searchers locate you in time of need.