LYMAN LAKE, Wash. – A Washington State Patrol trooper missing for three days in the Cascade Mountains reunited with family members after being rescued Tuesday night.
Trooper Dan Anderson was found safe by search teams on horseback along the Suiattle River Trail in the Miners Creek area of Snohomish County, where his snowshoe tracks were spotted from the air. Searchers said he would have had 35 miles to go to reach a main road if he hadn't been found.
He was in such good condition, officials said there was no need for him to go to the hospital.
"Dan's fine. He wasn't injured, and he was in good spirits," said friend Greg Powers, who was initially with him on the trip.
Overnight, Anderson posted on his Facebook page, "Sorry to make everyone worry." He said he had taken a few tumbles and lost the tent that was on his backpack. He had to sleep in a wet sleeping bag in freezing temperatures for two nights.
Anderson was off duty Friday when he left on a snowshoeing trip with friends in the North Cascades. At one point over the weekend he left the group and went off on his own. Friends became worried when Anderson's search beacon was activated. No one had communication with him since Sunday.
Search and rescue teams from Snohomish, King and Chelan counties scoured the area for him, only going off the snowshoe tracks and the emergency signal from the search beacon days ago.
Anderson was found by a searcher on horseback just before 9 p.m. Tuesday. By 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, he was reunited with family members and friends at Washington State Patrol District Headquarters in Marysville.
Friends and colleagues said they are relieved that Anderson is safe.
"I was very grateful, but I wasn't super surprised that he was found in that condition, based on his level of training, fitness and past experience," said Sgt. Kirk Rudeen, Washington State Patrol. "I think this will be something that he will remember for a while."
In a statement released Tuesday night, Rebecca Hover with the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office said: "We can't give enough praise to the search and rescue volunteers on this mission who meticulously followed every snowshoe track, every detail to find Dan...these people risked their lives to find him."