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Aug-08-2006 16:30printcomments

19 Hearing Impaired Students That Were Missing Walk Back to Camp

The students, all from different parts of the country, had a nurse in their party and they are described as "well equipped."

Blackhawk pilot running toward aircraft
File photo by: Tim King

(MILL CITY) - Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller reports a group of 19 hearing impaired youth that were overdue and presumed lost turned up at their camp in the Santiam State Forest south of Mill City.

The group was reported overdue at 8:40 PM yesterday by one of their leaders who was able to walk out and call for help. The youths are juniors and seniors in high school and are well equipped according the team's leader.

Everyone in the group was hearing impaired, raising the challenge for searchers accustomed to being able to call out to people. The team leader that went for help was the only individual with the group who can speak.

Deputies and 30 members of the Linn County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Post responded to the area last night and searched throughout the night and early morning.

The group is with the Youth Leadership Camp which is a part of the National Association of the Deaf, headquartered in Maryland.

According to the group's leader, on Monday, August 7th, the group of 19 people headed out on a five day survival training in the Rock Creek area.

Editor's note... We were initially informed that the Oregon National Guard were involved in the rescue attempt with a helicopter crew, the Oregon Guard says they were not actually part of the operation.


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