An Oregon man used creative thinking to connect his phone to a drone to get cell service after he became stranded on a snowy road in the Willamette National Forest, authorities said on Facebook.
The driver was trying to cross a remote road in the woods when his vehicle, which was not equipped for snow conditions, got stuck, Lane County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue said. He soon realized he had no cell phone service and could not call for help, the office said.
Authorities said the man made “several smart decisions” that helped save his life — the most innovative being the idea of connecting his cell phone to the drone he was carrying. He then texted a friend detailing the situation and his location, hit send and then flew the drone several hundred feet into the air, the sheriff’s office said.
“The increased altitude allowed his phone to connect to the tower and send a message, prompting our teams to mobilize and help extricate him,” search and rescue officials said.
Aside from the drone ruse, authorities believe it was prudent to stay with the man’s vehicle, as stranded motorists are more likely to survive if they stay in or near their vehicle rather than wandering off.
When rescuers reached the driver of the vehicle, they spotted and rescued another person who had been trapped in the snow for several days, the office said.
Although this particular episode had a happy ending, the sheriff’s office cautioned people not to drive on forest roads that are not maintained during the winter, except in a group of “well-equipped vehicles.” The office says someone who isn’t traveling should be aware of your plans, where you want to go and when you plan to return, so they can contact the authorities if any problems arise.
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