On 03-30-2012, approximately 10:00 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriffs Office was notified of three overdue hikers in the Bureau of Land Management Kings Range area of Humboldt County. The mother of one of the overdue hikers reported that her son, Trent Andrew Severson, 21 years old from Redding, California and his two friends went hiking in the Kings Range and were overdue. The mother reported she received a text message on Thursday, 03-27-2012, stating they had arrived at the trailhead. They were supposed to return to Redding on 3-30-2012 and she had not heard from them since and was concerned. Sheriff’s deputies and a Bureau of Land Management Ranger responded to the Miller Ridge area of the Kings Range and began searching for the missing hiker’s vehicle. The deputies and Bureau of Land Management Ranger were unable to access the trailheads and were unable to conduct a thorough search due to the rivers and creeks being swollen and impassable. The weather conditions at the time were heavy rain, fog and wind. Due to the dangerous conditions a decision was made to start a more thorough search at daylight by air and using all terrain vehicles.
At daylight the next morning Humboldt County Sheriffs Office Search and Rescue Personnel and Bureau of Land Management Rangers began searching for the missing hikers. Weather conditions had improved and the United States Coast Guard helicopter was able to assist with an aerial search. Searchers located the missing people’s vehicle at the Saddle Mountain Trailhead at approximately noon. The vehicle had over an inch of hail frozen on it. At approximately 3:00 p.m. the United States Coast Guard Helicopter was forced to land at the Shelter Cove Airport due to lightening, hail and high winds.
At approximatetly 7:00 p.m., March 31, 2012 the three hikers were located, Trent Severson, Jareth Joseph Groves, 22 years, from Redding, and Naomi Kathleen Vollmers, 21 years old of Berkeley, all three are UC Berkeley students. They were in good health and told the searchers they had become stranded by the fast rising creeks. They were located near the trailhead.
The Sheriff’s Office, United States Coast Guard and Bureau of Land Management would like to remind hikers to check weather forecasts and conditions prior to hiking into rural areas