Harold Drake

Missing Hiker Harold Drake

On 07/08/2015 at 2200 hours, Harold Drake(76) was reported as an overdue hiker. Drake was camping with a friend(Reporting Party) at Pfeiffer State Park in Big Sur. Drake stated he would be taking a long hike and was to return in the afternoon. Drake was last seen leaving the campsite headed towards the 2 main trails leading out of the park. Drake was only carrying a gallon of water and a small pack with snacks. All of his overnight gear was in his tent at the campsite in the park. Drake was reported to be an avid hiker and in good shape. There were suspicions of possible medical conditions but none had been diagnosed.

On 07/08/2015 at 2300 hours, the Monterey County Search and Rescue Team (SAR) along with the Monterey County Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR) conducted a search of Pine Ridge Trail and Mt. Manuel Trail, which are the main trails leading out of the park. California State Park Rangers conducted a search of Pfeiffer State Park and adjacent short trails.

On 07/09/2015, another SAR team conducted a search of the Big Sur River Gorge, which is another popular destination leading away from the park.

On 07/10/2015, Mutual aid was requested. Search and rescue teams from Monterey, Marin, and Santa Cruz County arrived to conduct a further search of the trails. A helicopter from Naval Air Station Lemoore and CHP also assisted with the search. MCSO fixed wing Idaho90 assisted as a high altitude radio relay for communications for the next three days.

On 07/11/2015, Mutual aid was requested. Search and Rescue teams from Monterey, Santa Cruz, Marin and Ventura County arrived to assist with the search. Helicopters from CHP, Lemoore and California National Guard also arrived to assist. The helicopters were used for searching and deployments of teams into the field. The mobile command post (5390) from Salinas Fire Department arrived on scene. Search teams stayed in the backcountry overnight in order to efficiently conduct multiple search assignments the next day.

On 07/12/2015, Search teams conducted final assignments to cover almost 100 miles of trail and river. CHP and Lemoore helicopters assisted with extricating teams and equipment from the back country. Fliers had been posted at local business and trailheads. No signs of Drake have found.

Drake has been missing since 07/08/2015. He was to depart from the park on 07/10/2015. Family members have been contacted. His whereabouts are unknown. At this time the search has been suspended and will be reviewed for any possible future searches if more pertinent information is discovered.