(GOLETA, Calif.) — Search crews remain hopeful that a California firefighter is still alive after disappearing more than a week ago.
For more than eight days, search crews armed with drones, infrared cameras and even harmonicas have been traversing the Los Padres National Forest in search of Mike Herdman.
Herdman, 34, was on a camping trip with a friend, Taylor Byars, when he vanished chasing after his dog into the wilderness, according to Byars.
Byars said Herdman left behind his supplies and even his shoes in his rush to find his dog, Duke. It took Byars two days to hike out of the park and contact police to start the rescue mission.
While Duke has been spotted by searchers, he has not been caught and there has been no trace of Herdman. Rescuers are using harmonicas to try and soothe Duke so they can see if the dog will lead them to his owner.
The park is twice the size of the Grand Canyon and searchers described the area as “some of the roughest terrain we have in the state.”
Five searchers have been injured in the rescue operation, including one who was bitten by a rattlesnake and had to be airlifted to a hospital where he remains in intensive care. Family and friends of Herdman are hoping his outdoor experience and training will help him stay safe until searchers arrive.
“We are all expecting to see Mike come over the hill behind us and be surprised to see us all here,” Herdman’s friend Michael Macgregor told reporters earlier this week. “I have no doubt that he can survive out there for weeks.”
Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Recent posts in National News