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Oregon Woman, Dog Rescued After Falling off Hiking Trail


A 56-year-old woman from Brookings, Oregon, and her dog were rescued after slipping off a hiking trail, KATU News reports.

On Monday, Nov. 11, shortly past 1 p.m., dispatch in Brookings received a 911 call from Jody Thibodo. In it, the woman reports stepping off the trail with her dog, Electra, while hiking near House Rock Viewpoint. The pair had slipped roughly 30 feet down a steep embankment and couldn’t climb up without help.

Once alerted, dispatch immediately transferred the call to the Curry County Sheriff’s Office, which collaborated with the county’s Search and Rescue rope team (SAR) to facilitate the rescue.

Successful rescue mission for stranded woman and dog

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Thibodo was unfamiliar with the hiking trail. As a result, she couldn’t pinpoint where she had parked her car before setting off for her walk. 

Thankfully, Sergeant Synthia Westerman — a Dispatcher from the Sheriff’s Office — was able to determine Thibodo’s location coordinates from the 911 call. Westerman forwarded these details to the Curry County SAR rope team, which handles high-risk tactical rescues. 

First, a group of patrol deputies drove to the scene. Fortunately, they found Thibodo’s car at House Rock Viewpoint — located approximately five miles north of Brookings. They then guided the SAR unit, staffed with seven rescue members — including the team manager — to the location. 

The SAR team managed to spot Thibodo and her furry companion, who were less than a mile away from the viewpoint. Together, the team assessed the situation and formulated a plan to hoist the pair to safety.

Moments later, the SAR crew descended the embankment, secured Thibodo and Electra with harnesses, then lifted them back onto the trail. Once on safe ground, the crew escorted the duo to their car.

There are no reports as to whether Thibodo and her dog suffered injuries from the fall. Given that, it’s fair to consider the rescue mission a success. 

John Ward, a Curry County Sheriff Officer, applauded the rescue crew’s selfless actions. Saying, “We have an incredible SAR team who stop what they are doing when they get a SAR call and respond to help.” He added that “they do this so that others may live.”

Hiking safely with your dog

Like any other outdoor activity, hiking comes with various safety risks — falling off the trail being one of them.

Whether you are new to hiking with your canine or have been at it for years without ever experiencing an accident, it’s never a bad idea to familiarize yourself with a few trail etiquette basics when hiking with your dog. 

By knowing these dos and don’ts, you’ll set yourself and your pooch up for an enjoyable hiking experience while staying safe.


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