Home News Sports/Outdoors Social Business Calendar

Events & Entertainment Letters Obituaries Archives Advertise
Search ...

Smoke led rescuers to missing man

June 3, 2023
SAR member Adam Reeves with the helicopter getting rigged up for extraction.
Boundary County Search & Dive Rescue photos

Bourathaphon Inthanthanya, left, rests while one of his rescuers
stokes the fire.
After a long shift in the three-day search for missing mushroom hunter Bourathaphon Inthanthanya, Redding, California, a Boundary County Search and Dive Rescue team member was leaving the search area and noticed a small plume of smoke coming from an area with no access to roads or trails. It was the break needed to end Inthanthanya's four day ordeal.

Inthanthanya had been missing since about 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 30, failing to rejoin his party. Early on June 1, the Boundary County Sheriff's Office was notified of the missing man and search and rescue was activated.

"Our team responded to the area in question and an extensive search was launched," said Boundary Search and Dive Rescue Team President Mario Anest. "The search continued for over 36 hours with no clues or leads as to the missing person's location."

On receiving the report of smoke, a team was deployed to the area, and as darkness fell on Friday, June 2, they determined that the smoke was from a warming or signal fire and scaled down the steep slope down to Smith Creek, crossed its frigid waters and made contact with the missing man.

Determining that Inthanthanya was stable and because of the steep terrain, the decision was made to stay in place for the night and bring in a rescue helicopter from the Spokane County Sheriff's office with hoist capability to extract Inthanthanya and the crew members to high gground. The helicopter arrived on scene at 7 a.m., and Inthanthanya was soon on his way to Boundary Community Hospital.

Despite having had nothing to eat or drink four four days, Inthanthanya was found to be doing remarkably well, suffering only minor cuts and a few blisters.

"I continue to be both amazed and proud of our Boundary Search and Dive Rescue Teams," said sheriff's detective Caleb Watts, liaison between the sheriff’s office and search and dive rescue. "All members are volunteer and put their time and money into this program. The specialty teams continue to train, starting with SAR Academy to swift water rescue, high ropes, dive, back country, snowmobile, maps and I could go on and on! The dedication that these guys have is what makes these teams work. They continue to show expertise and professionalism on every call out. Without these guys, the community would not have a chance when in need. When there is a call out, they drop what they are doing, sometimes even leave work, to go serve this community! I would like to see the community understand how precious these guys are."

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

A 9B Media LLC publication
Sign up for breaking news alerts