Winston County Search

RAT-SAR was paged out to assist with a search for two subjects who had gone missing in the Bankhead National Forest in Winston County while hiking to Sougahoagdee Falls. The subjects were able to get a call out to Winston County 911 and explained they were not injured, but lost and had no gear to stay overnight. Shortly after that, their cell phone died. An initial search was conducted by Winston County Sheriff’s Office that night but was not successful due to the rugged and remote nature of the terrain, as well as darkness. A follow-up search was initiated using a multi-agency effort based on the coordinates provided by 911. ALEA Aviation was called in and ground search teams assembled. At approximately 1025 on October 28th, the subjects were located by ALEA’s search helicopter approximately 700 meters from the 911 cell phone ping. ALEA directed ground teams to the subjects where it was determined they could be safely extracted on foot and by all-terrain vehicles. The female subject was suffering from mild hypothermia. Paramedics and EMTs treated her on scene and she advised she did not want to be transported to the hospital.

RAT-SAR would like to thank everyone involved in the multi-agency search and rescue:

  • Winston County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office
  • ALEA Aviation
  • Winston County Rescue Squad
  • Huntsville Cave Rescue Unit
  • Huntsville Search Dog Unit
  • Morgan County Rescue Squad
  • Central Fire Department