The search is on for two snowmobilers from the Lake Almanor Basin who have been reported missing in the Gold Lakes Basin area outside of Graeagle. Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood said Doug Weeks and Nick Luna were reported missing by their families Sunday evening, Feb. 24. Hagwood said that Search and Rescue responded and made contact with the missing men via cell phone, who turned down assistance at the time. It was reported that one of their snowmobiles had become stuck in a creekbed, but they could handle it.
“They said they did not need assistance,” Hagwood said and added, “They refused to tell us where they were.” He said they also wouldn’t comply with the request to call 911 so that searchers could establish their location. Despite the circumstances, Hagwood said that Search and Rescue continued to search through the night until it was called off about noon on Monday, Feb. 25, due to “horrific conditions.” Hagwood described 90 mph winds, whiteouts and accumulating snow. According to Hagwood, the search operation will resume on the ground as well as in the air when weather conditions allow.
However, the family is organizing its own search effort, independent from the sheriff and Search and Rescue, and has reached out through social media for help. It’s been reported that several local individuals have responded to the families’ requests for help and have begun to search. “I am discouraging that,” Hagwood said. “My concern is that we will end up with numerous people being lost or injured. I understand the families’ actions, but I can’t endorse it.”
A Facebook page has been established to help find them called Bring Nick and Diggy home.
The snowmobilers have now been out in the elements for three days and two nights.