Stranded in Snow With No Reception He Tied His iPhone to a Drone to Get Above Trees to Send SOS Text

​Eugene, Oregon photographer Casey Ryan

An experienced mountain-going photographer got stuck in a snowdrift while trying to rescue another stranded vehicle on a remote mountain road in Oregon.

He knew he needed to tell someone of his predicament so he picked up his phone and made a ‘drone call.’

Attaching an iPhone to the underside of his camera drone, Casey Ryan managed to Mcgyver an SOS text by flying the drone above the treeline where the phone could grab a signal, leading to his rescue the following morning.

It was a snowy morning on January 29th when Casey Ryan from Eugene, Oregon, and his friend decided to travel up into the mountains of Willamette National Forest for a bit of hiking.

Recounting his rescue story to the Washington Post, Ryan explained he was familiar with many of the roads in the area stemming from time spent volunteering on a roadside litter cleanup crew. He also frequently went into the mountains for his favorite hobby, photographing the wilderness with his camera and his drone.

The conditions that day were icy, but seeing cars come from the opposite direction of the road he was taking, he assumed that everything was okay. Eventually though, he came upon the stranded driver of a Mercedes van, and when he volunteered to help tow the van out, he reversed into a snowdrift.

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It was already late afternoon and the temperature was falling as Ryan, his friend, and the other driver tried to dig him out, but the snow was turning to ice on his wheels.

Holding a meeting to decide what to do next, Ryan’s friend suggested that they use his drone to fly above the tree line and get an SOS text away.

It worked, even though the drone was not designed to carry a bulky phone. When the drone landed and they checked to see if their text to Ryan’s wife had been sent, they were left mind-boggled when they saw that it had worked.

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After a night in their cars, Lane County Sheriff’s Office arrived in the late morning to rescue them, Ryan’s wife having alerted them the night before.

“I’ve been doing search and rescue since 2007,” said Jason Bowman, a search-and-rescue coordinator with the Lane County Sheriff’s Office, who spoke to the Post.

“And this was by far the most unique way I’ve ever seen somebody call for help.”

WATCH Casey Recreate His Drone Call…

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