by Joey Crandall, firstname.lastname@example.org (with reports from the Nevada Division of Emergency Management)
For as many searches as the Civil Air Patrol performs, more often than not, they don’t end like the one for the missing family near Lovelock earlier this week.
“You do all these searches, you find the wreckage, but you never get the call we got today,” said Lt. Col. Brad Spires, public affairs officer for the Douglas County squadron of Civil Air Patrol Nevada Wing. “Silver State I is the call center for our state commander and he came on and said, ‘All CAP aircraft, this is Silver State I. We have six survivors en route. You are free to return to base.
“It was just an incredible day.”
According to the Nevada Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, James Glanton and Christina McIntee and four children were in their Jeep Sunday afternoon when the vehicle went off an embankment and rolled over.
As a result, the family camped near the Jeep, started a fire and waited for help. They were equipped with food, water and supplies, but had to endure freezing temperatures as low as 20-below-zero.
Two volunteers found them Tuesday morning, west of Lone Mountain near the 7 Troughs Mine. Glanton and McIntee, along with a 10-year-old, two four-year-old and a three-year-old were taken to Pershing General Hospital for mild dehydration.
They went missing Sunday afternoon after “playing in the snow.”
“You look at it, the family did everything the right way,” Spires said. “They told someone where they were going, they knew on Sunday that the family was missing. They came prepared and they stayed close to the vehicle. Still, two nights in that kind of weather is incredible.”
Civil Air Patrol, Washoe County Search and Rescue along with several other agencies and dozens of volunteers had searched for the family since they were reported missing near Lovelock.
“It was a team effort and everyone was well-coordinated,” Spires said. “You’ve got Sheriff’s mounted posse out there, search and rescue, the whole deal. I think Nevada has one of the best contingents to draw from. There are a lot of quality, coordinated resources available in these circumstances.”
Civil Air Patrol had six planes – two out of Las Vegas, one from Minden, one from Tahoe, one from Truckee and one from Winnemucca – in the air Tuesday when the call came in.
“You never want to have all of your resources in the air at once, because you never know what could happen next,” Spires said. “But we had six planes patrolling the search area. It ended being volunteers on the ground that spotted them. It was really, really a neat feeling.”
Spires has been with the Civil Air Patrol for six years.
“It’s a really good outfit,” he said.