Man stranded in snowstorm uses drone to seek help in Oregon

A motorist used a creative approach to contact help while stranded on a snowy remote road in Willamette National Forest.

The forest road in western Oregon is not typically maintained for winter travel, according to the Lane County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue. So when the motorist tried to traverse the remote road, his vehicle became stuck in the snow.

The Lane County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team at Willamette National Forest. (Lane County Sheriff's Search and Rescue / Facebook / FOX Weather)

According to the LCSSR, the man did not have cell service to call for help, as cellphone reception is spotty in many areas of the forest. Additionally, no one knew of his whereabouts and his family was out of the country.


To find a way to contact help, the man used a creative approach.

He had a drone with him, so he took out the device and attached his cell phone to it. Next, the LCSSR said he typed a text message to a trusted person, and in that message he described his situation and included his exact location. He then hit "Send."

READ MORE: Heinz wants to catch up with man who survived a month at sea with nothing but ketchup, seasonings

Given the poor cell phone reception at this location, particularly on ground-level, the motorist launched the drone, carrying the cell phone that was prepared to deliver a message.

A reenactment using a cellphone tied to a drone, not the actual setup used by the stranded motorist. (Lane County Sheriff's Search and Rescue / Facebook / FOX Weather)

The drone flew several hundred feet into the air. At the increased elevation, the phone was able to connect to a tower and gain reception, allowing the message with critical information to be sent.


The successful text messaging led to the LCSSR to respond to the motorist and provide assistance. 

LINK: Get updates and more on this story at