Man Stranded in a Snowy Forest Ties His Phone to a Drone to Summon Help

phone tied to a drone
The man tied his phone to a drone to summon help. (Photo is a re-enactment)

A man stranded on a remote snow-covered road sent out a drone to call for help, saving him from a potentially deadly situation.

The man found himself stuck, without a signal on his cell phone, after driving on a treacherous road in Willamette National Forest, Oregon.

However, the quick-thinking driver had the ingenious idea to strap his cellphone to a drone to alert rescuers.

“A motorist had attempted to traverse a remote road in the U.S. Forest Service that is not maintained for winter travel,” Lane County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue writes on Facebook.

“His vehicle became stuck in the snow and he did not have cell service to call for help (cell reception is very limited in many forested areas of Lane County).

“Making his situation worse, his family was out of the country and nobody knew where he had gone or to call for help if he didn’t make it home.”

stranded man in snowy remote road
The scene at Willamette National Forest

The Sheriff’s office explained that the marooned man made several smart decisions to stay alive, involving a “creative“ decision to use a drone.

“First, he stayed with his vehicle. Rarely does anyone in Oregon die from exposure waiting in their vehicle to be found and rescued, but we have unfortunately seen many poor outcomes from those who chose to walk away,” the Sheriff writes.

“Second, he used some ingenuity to find a way to call for help. The man had a drone with him and attached his cell phone to the drone. He then typed a text message to a trusted person describing his situation and exact location, hit send, and launched the drone several hundred feet into the air.

“The increased elevation allowed his phone to connect to a tower and send the message, which resulted in our teams being deployed and assisting him out of his situation.”

In fact, the man’s brilliant drone resolution unintentionally came to the aid of another stranded motorist who was found nearby after being stuck in the snow for “multiple days.”

While the Sheriff’s office stated they are “happy with the outcome” they stressed the importance of not attempting unmaintained roads covered in snow and to always tell a responsible person exactly where they are traveling.

Image credits: All photos courtesy of Lane County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue.